Bright Fireball caught above Ohio

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More than 700 reports from 15 states

The AMS received more than 700 reports so far about a fireball event that occurred over Ohio on September 30th, 2020 around 10:24 Universal Time (06:24 EDT). The AMS #2020-5441 event was mainly seen from the Ohio but we also received reports from Washington DC, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Ontario.

If you witnessed this event and/or if you have a video or a photo of this event, please
Submit an Official Fireball Report

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

Trajectory & Videos

While this event is still under investigation, the preliminary trajectory computed based on all the reports submitted to the AMS so far shows that the fireball was travelling from South East to North West and ended its visible flight somewhere over North Benton, OH.

Several videos & photos can be found in the event page.

Fireball?

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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22 comments

  • Arild Mellembakken 8 months ago

    I saw one over here in Arkansas last night around 01:00 to theNorth.
    I have reported it.
    Extremely large compared to normal meteorites, nice tail.

    Reply to Arild
  • Dan Martin 8 months ago

    I saw it in North Canton at 6:25 AM on September 30. The flash was very bright — at first, I thought it was lightning. I looked up in time to see the end of the fireball. A smoke trail was visible for many seconds afterward.

    Two co-workers said they also saw it.

    Reply to Dan
  • Tom Hooper 8 months ago

    I was going to my tree stand and I saw a very bright light in the sky. When I looked up I saw what looked like a firework tail burning out.

    Reply to Tom
  • Diane Williamson 8 months ago

    I seen this at approximately 6:23 am on September 30, 2020

    Reply to Diane
  • Zachary Lautz 8 months ago

    I saw this fireball in Southern Illinois on my way to work this morning. Just before 530
    I was traveling east bound on 64 and saw it in the north east.
    Blew my mind.

    Reply to Zachary
  • kristen lasley 8 months ago

    I witnessed the meteor at 6:24am this morning. I was traveling Eastbound from Findlay, Ohio on Interstate 23 towards Upper Sandusky, Ohio. From start to finish. Started off as a shooting star, so I thought, then after just a couple seconds, I saw what I thought may had been a plane exploding.(for lack of better terms), and ultimately I saw the “tail” of the fireball leave a bright stream of light which quickly dissipated. It truly made for a great start to my work day! Truly amazing!

    Reply to kristen
  • LEWIS L Moyers 8 months ago

    Husband was walking at 6:20 this morning and was confronted by a BRIGHT LIGHT that made a shadow in Parkersburg wv

    Reply to LEWIS
  • Francisco 8 months ago

    Saw 2 possible fireballs in Guayacanes, Dominican Republic. Each 3 days apart. One bright green, another bright red.

    Reply to Francisco
  • Jeff Cromwell 8 months ago

    Eyewitness from oh hwy 666 south bound @ ~6:23 am. 7 miles south of Dresden, OH. Bright flash, streaking, fireball, then explosive breakup. Heading from S to N….in the eastern sky. 10 o’clock on the horizon. Very cool.

    Reply to Jeff
  • Glenn 8 months ago

    I saw a blue steak of light this morning 6:45amish eastern time in Toronto. Was a flash and then a blue streak.

    Reply to Glenn
  • Elmer Lewis 8 months ago

    I also have seen it this morning on rt 268 leaving my house for work dollar store I wasn’t sure what it was too later on the night whaching the new it was nice and bright I just want let everyone know it was real not fake news

    Reply to Elmer
  • Ryan Trepiccione 8 months ago

    Seen in Long Island New York

    Reply to Ryan
  • .ark Colley 8 months ago

    This is the text I sent to my family several hous after seeing the fireball. “I think I might have seen a UFO this morning, as unlikely as that sounds, I can’t figure out what else it could have been. I was walking out of Meijer, it was still dark, and there in the Southeastern sky was a colorful streak moving away from me disappearing post haste. It was blue, yellow and orange, and it had a shape, a very thin torpedo look about it. It didn’t do any of the acrobatics that you hear about. No sharp right turns or anything. At first I thought it might be a firework. ,,, Other people were walking out of the store and I wanted to ask them what they’d seen, but they got in their car before I could approach them.,.”

    Reply to .ark
  • Patrick Greene 8 months ago

    I saw this when I was driving to work in Alcoa Tennessee. It was right about 6:25 AM on 9/30/2020. I had never seen something like this. Thank you!

    Reply to Patrick
  • Chris Weglarz 8 months ago

    October 13th 2020 approximately 6:45pm
    Comet sighting in Crown Point Indiana

    Reply to Chris
  • John K Victor 8 months ago

    Saw a huge fireball with a long tail falling in the Southwest over Frankfort OH. It looked Ike a comet or falling star, white light then it burned up in a ball of yellow and orange, then blue green. Wow. Sometime around 7:40 pm.

    Reply to John
    • Robert Lunsford 8 months ago

      John and All,

      See my reply to Jen…

      Reply to Robert
  • Jerry Reynolds 8 months ago

    Hi.. cool web site. NEOs have been on my radar recently (figuratively). Tonight I saw and reported a fireball.. but I have no “point of reference” as to stellar magnitude. (My report 215813). However, in watching the videos of 2020-5441.. the meteor or fireball I saw tonight, appeared as bright as those videos shown. It was equally large. So I am curious, and will follow along, knowing this was not a typical meteor.

    A suggestion:
    When I as asked for the stellar magnitude.. why not revise that input box, to show actual photos, or representations of various examples. To go from Venus, to a quarter moon, is rather difficult to equate. I can remember a fireball.. 1966 or 67, looking north from Indianapolis, and it lit up the ground around 7 or 8 PM, in the summertime. I’ll follow and do more reading. Nice work!

    Reply to Jerry
  • Roland Guay 8 months ago

    Saw a meteor last night as I let my dogs out before bed time.
    I live in Panama City, Florida it was around 10-10:30 PM CST on DEC 4, 2020. I was looking at the Moon when the meteor was seen just below the Moon.

    Reply to Roland
    • paul 8 months ago

      Sounds like me i went to get my border collie inside she was out laying down on the deck with her paws crossed gazing at the full moon i looked at the moon then as i turned around to come inside i seen the massive fire ball comet or astroid flames pouring off it and it lasted about 7-10 seconds in Auckland New Zealand sept 30th 2020 was epic

      Reply to paul

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