2 Fireballs caught on the night of 16 to 17 April, 2019

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Last night was a busy night for the AMS: 2 very bright fireball events occurred less than 6 hours apart.

If you witnessed one of these events and/or if you have a video or a photo of these events, please
Submit an Official Fireball Report

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

Fireball over Germany: 60 reports from 4 countries

We first received 60 reports (so far) about of a slow green fireball seen above north Germany on Tuesday, April 16th 2019 around 21:50 Universal Time (23:50 local time – CEST). The event was mainly seen from Germany but we also received reports from Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.

AMS Event #1774-2019 – Witness location and estimated ground trajectory

Trajectory

The preliminary 3D trajectory computed based on all the reports submitted to the AMS* shows that the fireball was traveling from South East to North West and ended its flight right above Hamburg.

* through our partners: Arbeitskreis Meteore e.V. (D), the International Meteor Organization, Werkgroep Meteoren (NL), Vallendesterren (NL) and UKMON (UK).

AMS Event #1774-2019 – Estimated 3D trajectory

Fireball over Delaware: Over 400 reports from 9 states

We also received 407 reports so far about another bright and green fireball that happened over Delaware the same night at 02:57 Universal Time (10:57pm EDT). We received reports from Washington DC, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

AMS Event #1775-2019 – Witness location and estimated ground trajectory

Trajectory

The preliminary 3D trajectory computed based on all the reports submitted to the AMS shows that the fireball was traveling from North to South and ended its flight in the Atlantic Ocean in front of Bethany Beach, DE. It means that if anything survived, it’s in the water.

AMS Event #1775-2019 – Estimated 3D trajectory

Fireball, Meteorite…?

Several thousand meteors of fireball magnitude occur in the Earth’s atmosphere each day. The vast majority of these, however, occur over the oceans and uninhabited regions, and a good many are masked by daylight. Those that occur at night also stand little chance of being detected due to the relatively low numbers of persons out to notice them.

Additionally, the brighter the fireball, the more rare is the event. As a general thumb rule, there are only about 1/3 as many fireballs present for each successively brighter magnitude class, following an exponential decrease. Experienced observers can expect to see only about 1 fireball of magnitude -6 or better for every 200 hours of meteor observing, while a fireball of magnitude -4 can be expected about once every 20 hours or so.

AMS TERMINOLOGY

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15 comments

  • Moises Amaro 3 months ago

    I saw this last night here in Willow st, Pennsylvania..it was really bright and looked very close..

    Reply to Moises
  • Nicole burkey 3 months ago

    Hello! Thanks for the answers I had all night, “what in the world was that?! and was I the only one to see it?!” How beautiful! I am from new Holland, Pennsylvania and had a big open sky for the fireball to show off its tricks right in front of me.

    Reply to Nicole
  • Melissa 3 months ago

    I saw this yesterday in the sky and I’m in Puerto Rico my husband told me I’m crazy but I knew I wasn’t ….

    Reply to Melissa
  • Jean 3 months ago

    Live about 20 minutes from Bethany beach in Delaware. Love stargazing but, of course, went to bed early last night-ugh….

    Reply to Jean
  • Janice Bragdon 3 months ago

    I saw a fireball tuesday night around 11:00 pm in maine. Looked very close and was very bright.

    Reply to Janice
  • Anne 3 months ago

    We saw a huge flaming meteor over the York River in Williamsburg, Virginia. We have a window wall facing the river and a flaming, elongated streak passed almost horizontally across all the windows. It had a slight downward trajectory and passed out of our view so we didn’t see it hit the ground or burn out. At first I thought it was a plane engulfed with flames, but it seemed larger than a plane; I called 911 just in case.

    Reply to Anne
  • Carolyn Williams 3 months ago

    I saw this fireball on my way home from work in Princess Anne, Maryland. It happened around 10:50pm it was a very bright light like a fast ball of fire and seemed really close to me just above the trees. I live about 41 miles from Bethany Beach Delaware where the fireball reportedly went down in the ocean.

    Reply to Carolyn
  • Chase Everson 3 months ago

    Saw this around Tuesday night around 11 Pm in Wilmington, NC. Was driving home going over a tall highway bridge and the sky was clear as day. Saw a bright greenlight shooting downward across the sky and finally died out. It was awesome!!!

    Reply to Chase
  • Lexxus 3 months ago

    Last night around 2 3 am Knoxville TN .. we had A strong and out of nowhere storm come through with extra high wind.. for like 15 min.. there was a bright neon green flash first to appear and then 5 min later a extremely neon blue lit up the sky for 2 seconds it seemed .. extremely bright abnormal colors. There was. 3rd round too. It knocked out the street lights for a bit too and wasn’t lightening.. not sure what it was though so maybe someone knows on here

    Reply to Lexxus
  • Brenda 3 months ago

    Omg!! My boyfriend and I saw it Tuesday night (April 16th) here in southwest Florida while we were on our way home. I couldn’t take a pic since I was driving. It was bright green light and then it just disappear across the sky…it was awesome!!!

    Reply to Brenda
  • Brenda 3 months ago

    Omg!! My boyfriend and I saw it Tuesday night (April 16th) here in southwest Florida while we were on our way home. I couldn’t take a pic since I was driving. It was bright green light and then it just disappear across the sky…it was awesome!!!

    Reply to Brenda
  • Marc Anhtony 3 months ago

    I live in Williamsburg Virginia and as far I know, I’m the only person that was out that night and saw it… Still don’t know what to believe as I was facing south-southwest and this was supposed to have been north of me… No matter what though, it was an incredible sight to see.

    Reply to Marc
  • Collin 3 months ago

    I’m writing this May 11th from Ohio. I was down by Lake Erie at 1:00am and saw a close, slow moving bright green meteor with a pinkish trail. I’ve never seen that before.

    Reply to Collin

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