Folks, It’s Fireball Season! – Updated

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AMS Fireball event #4290-2022 over Texas, USA on Sunday July 24, 2022, at 10:25 pm CDT (03:25 Universal Time)<

Only 2 Nights After a Fireball Over Indiana, Another Appears over Texas. Over 600 reports from 3 States!

The AMS has received over 600 reports and many videos displaying a fireball event that occurred over Texas and surrounding states on Sunday July 24, 2022, at 10:25 PM CDT. The AMS #2022-4290 event was mainly seen from Texas, but we also received reports from Oklahoma, and Louisiana. The initial computer generated trajectory shows that this fireball entered the atmosphere over Cistern, Texas and its flight ended near Sunset Valley, just a few miles southwest of Austin. Several witnesses near the flight path reported hearing a delayed sonic boom, indicating that this fireball may have survived down to the lower atmosphere. Updated information indicates that this fireball was a member of the alpha Capricornid meteor shower, which is a known producer of bright fireballs. If this is true then the chances of finding any meteorites on the ground are essentially nil as meteors from this source are too fragile to survive their flight through the atmosphere.

A fireball is a meteor that is larger and brighter than normal. Most meteors are only the size of tiny pebbles. A meteor the size of a softball can produce light equivalent to the full moon for a short instant. This particular fireball was probably the size of a small car prior to entering the atmosphere. The reason for the  brightness is the extreme velocity at which these objects strike the atmosphere. Even the slowest meteors are still traveling at 10 miles per SECOND, which is much faster than any round fired from a firearm. Fireballs occur every day over all parts of the Earth. We normally receive about 100 reports each day. It is rare though for an individual to see more than one or two per lifetime as these short-lived events also occur during the day, on a cloudy night, or over a remote area where no one sees it. Observing during one of the major annual meteor showers can increase your chance of seeing another one of these bright meteors. The alpha Capricornids are a minor meteor shower than peaks on the night of July 30/31. The next major annual meteor shower will occur on the night of 12/13 August 2022, when the Perseid meteor shower reaches maximum activity.

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.

The map below displays just how widely this object was visible over Texas and surround states. Fireballs can become visible at altitudes near 100 miles, allowing them to be visible over a large area. Visit the event page for this fireball to view the videos and read comments from the witnesses.

Fireball, Bolide?

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 one fireball of magnitude -6 (crescent moon) or better for every 200 hours of meteor observing, while a fireball of magnitude -4 (Venus) can be expected about once every 20 hours or so.

AMS TERMINOLOGY

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6 comments

  • Thelma 2 weeks ago

    Wow! Wow! Wow! Thank-you for this information! I didn’t know.

    Reply to Thelma
  • Paul 2 weeks ago

    We recorded a fireball while recording the Northern Lights a few days ago July 22nd i think, from Noelville Ontario. You can see it on our Instagram lady cobraa’s hot sauce.

    Reply to Paul
  • Nadia Bieber 2 weeks ago

    I just observed a fire ball overlooking Lake Ontario from Red Creek, NY! It was approximately 9:20 PM! Absolutely stunning, just awe inspiring! My husband and my son saw one at the same location a couple years ago during the day in the summertime, date unknown. Thrilling to have observed that, I feel very lucky!

    Reply to Nadia
  • Brynn 2 weeks ago

    My friend and I were on Highway 35 in Austin, TX when I noticed a light moving across the sky. I questioned what I was seeing until I heard about the meteorite siting. I never thought I would get to see an event like this; I had always been too early or too late to witness a meteor shower.

    Reply to Brynn
  • Lorena 2 weeks ago

    I saw it on Sunday night. I was outside but was on the phone so didn’t have time to video tape it. But it was awesome.

    Reply to Lorena
  • Jude 2 weeks ago

    I’m in Calaveras County and saw a bright, wide trail in the sky that hung in sky between trees for a couple seconds. It was like a pencil eraser had left a bright white mark on the black sky.

    Reply to Jude

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