Huge Fireball over Northeastern US

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AMS Event #1750-2016 – ©

690 Reports

The AMS has received nearly 700 reports so far about a fireball event over Northeastern US on May 17th 2016 around 12:50am EDT (4:50 UT). The fireball was seen primarily from Maine but witnesses from Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Ontario (Canada) and Québec (Canada) also reported the event.

If you witnessed this event please fill an official fireball report.
If you have a video or a photo of this event please contact us.

If you want to learn more about Fireballs: read our Fireball FAQ.


Below is the heatmap of the witnesses location and an estimation of the ground trajectory. The trajectory is calculated by triangulation based on the reports we received.

AMS Event #1750-2016 – Heatmap and Estimated Ground Trajectory

Based on the 690 reports received so far, we were able to estimate the 3D trajectory of the object:

AMS Event #1750-2016 – Estimated 3D Trajectory

2 Objects entered the Earth’s atmosphere

As it appears clearly in the two screenshots below (from 2 videos ©Burlington International Airport) – there were two objects. It means the original object (the meteoroid) broke before entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

AMS Event #1750-2016 – 2 objects: pre-atmospheric fragmentation

Below is one of the two videos from the Burlington International Airport (©Burlington International Airport)


Below is a video of the event caught by a police officer of the Plattsburgh Police Department

Below is compilation of multiple videos of the event:

Below is a video of the event caught on Dash Cam by the Portland Maine Police Department

It was an amazing experience for the witnesses:

Flash of light drew attention, large ball of fire that appeared to burn up just above treeline. Absolutely amazing!!
Jennifer M. – Concoert, NH

The giant ball of fire was (seamed) extremely close going down below the treed horizon. I waited a minute because I thought I’ll see fire erupting beyond the end of the lake but nothing…
Julian K – Ontario, Canada

There was a 3-5 min delay from the time I saw it to the boom I heard and felt , very loud and shook the home , unlike anything I have ever experienced before.
Craig C. – Canton, ME



  • Tim Kelley 7 years ago

    ‘They’ say most meteors are size of sand grain.
    How big do ‘they’ believe this one may be?

    Reply to Tim
    • amsadmin 7 years ago

      Tim and All,

      Judging from the brightness seen in the photographs, this object was probably the size of a beach ball. The reason such a small object can produce so much light is the fact that it strikes the atmosphere at a tremendous velocity. Even the slowest meteors are still traveling at 5 miles per second and i have a feeling this one was moving a bit faster than that…

      Robert Lunsford

      Reply to amsadmin
  • Sylvia Touchette 7 years ago

    Did not see fire ball but was awoken at 12:55 by a loud boom,

    Reply to Sylvia
  • Sean Roy 7 years ago

    I have a cabin in Canton, Maine. I’m hoping it’s still there when I go up Memorial day weekend.

    Reply to Sean
    • Sean Roy 7 years ago

      Also, I saw it come down from my house in NH.

      Reply to Sean
  • shawn 7 years ago

    I know the “meteor” hit hard just like a bomb… shock waves… and all. I felt it shake my place.. I live in Mexico, Maine.

    Reply to shawn
  • Candace 7 years ago

    Boyfriend and I were watching tv and it was like an instance of very bright light through our big living room window that took over. We couldnt help but notice it and we’re on the third floor so its a very strange thing to see from up here.. We also can usually hear sounds of nature but there was nothing not even people just the odd car driving by.. Very eery

    Reply to Candace
  • John Chassie 7 years ago

    May 16,2016 at 12:50 am I seen a meteorite fall from sky, didn’t have time to take pics but it was bright green with a tail then it turned into a big fireball with a tail on it

    Reply to John
  • Charlie Fowler 7 years ago

    I was on a flight going from Chicago to London and saw this out of the plane window. Incredible experience! Was just telling my friend about it and came across this site.

    Reply to Charlie

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