Germany, France, Ohio and Arizona
It was a busy night for the AMS and IMO (International Meteor Organization) that started early around 16:50 Universal Time (UT) with a fireball in the skies over Germany. Over 1180 witnesses reported to the AMS/IMO database within the first few hours of the event. Les than five hours later, near the weastern shores of France witness reported another significant fireball at 21:30 UT.
While excited fireball observers in Germany, France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg and Italy were filling out their forms, two significant fireballs fell over the United States during the hours of 01:40 and 03:30 UTC. The first over Arizona and the second over Ohio.
In total the AMS/IMO collected, grouped and analyzed over 1320 witness reports spanning these 4 fireballs in the 10 hours that followed the events.
If you witnessed one of these events and/or if you have a video or a photo, please
Submit an Official Fireball Report
If you want to learn more about Fireballs: read our Fireball FAQ.
Taurid or not Taurid: that is the question
Are the events related or simply coincidence. Could these events be part of the Taurid meteor shower which peaked this past Saturday? Associated with the comet Encke, the Taurids are actually two separate showers, with a Southern and a Northern component. Both branches of the Taurids are most notable for colorful fireballs and are often responsible for an increased number of fireball reports from September through November.
The first analysis conducted by former IMO president Dr. Juergen Rendtel of the Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam from the raw data shows that the events that occurred over Arizona and France cannot be linked to the Taurids: the Arizona event was moving from North-West to South-East while the French event was moving from North-East to South-West. However, the events over Germany and Ohio fit the Taurids direction (East->West) and the low inclination angle at the time of the sightings! Note that the East-West direction is related to the Taurids only because the fireball occurred in the local evening. Later in the night or towards the morning the direction is different, of course.
Nov 14th 16:48 UT – Blue Fireball over Germany
The fireball that flew over Germany on Nov 14th around 16:48 UT is the most reported fireball event from Europe since the AMS and the IMO launched the international version of the AMS fireball form. Translated in 31 languages, this form potentially allows the whole population of the globe to report such events. So far, we received over 820 reports about this event from at least 7 different versions of the form: not only from the AMS and the IMO versions but also from the forms we customized for local organizations such as the French Networks Reforme and Vigie-Ciel, the Swiss organization Fachgruppe Meteorastronomie, the german organization Arbeitskreis Meteore e.V. and even from the Italian Network PRISMA.
Below is the 3D trajectory of the event (available in KML format from the Event#4299-2017 page):
This event has been caught on several dash cams:
Nov 14th 21:32 UT over France
The French event occurred over the city of Bordeaux (West of France) and it has been reported so far from about 20 witnesses. This event has been caught on cam by the french camera network FRIPON that is a member of the citizen science project Vigie-Ciel and by the French allsky amateur network BOAM.
We should receive more details about this event anytime soon. As stated above, this event doesn’t seem like being part of the Taurid Meteor Shower. The event has been caught by 10 cameras of the French Network (Toulouse, Angers, Talence, Sabres, Carcassonne, Aurillac, Hendaye, Saint Bonnet Vert, Coulounieix-Chamiers and Mauroux).
Nov 15th 03:28 UT over Arizona
The AMS received 85 reports so far about this event that occurred over Arizona. We didn’t receive reports only from Arizona but also from California, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico.
This event has been caught on at least two dash cams shared via the AMS Fireball report:
As stated above, the first estimated 3D trajectory doesn’t make this fireball a good candidate for the Taurid Meteor Shower. Traveling from North-West to South-East, the visible path of the fireball ended somewhere east of Happy Jack, AZ.
Nov 15th 01:49 UT over Ohio
We received 34 reports so far about this event that occurred over Ohio but was also reported from Michiga, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Just like the German event, this fireball was travelling East to West. The first estimation of the 3D trajectory shows that the visible path of the fireball ended somewhere over Greenfield, OH.
Unfortunately, we didn’t receive any photo or video of this event yet. If you witnessed one of this event and/or if you have a video or a photo, please
Submit an Official Fireball Report.