Fireball Explodes Over Columbus, Ohio – 2nd Midwestern Light Show In 2 Days

Video of the fireball and its lingering trail over Ohio Friday night Sept. 27 caught on NASA’s All-Sky Cameras operated by Bill Cooke

Last night around 11:30 p.m EDT., sky watchers living in at least 14 states were treated to one of the most spectacular fireballs ever. It was the second major Midwestern fireball in two days. The first lit up skies across Missouri, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Ohio Thursday morning around 7:05 a.m. CDT.

Thursday early morning fireball across the Midwest

Within hours, the Thursday fireball quickly became the American Meteor Society’s 2nd most reported of all time with over 730 reports. Friday night’s fireball will likely overtake that with 450 reports reviewed and more than 400 pending.

Last night’s meteor blazed a trail almost directly over the city of Columbus, Ohio speeding through the upper atmosphere from east to west at more than 114,000 mph (227,000 km/hr). Observers describe a brilliant blue ball and yellow-orange tail; some heard sonic booms and concussions.

Ground track of Friday night’s fireball over Ohio. Credit: Bill Cooke, NASA

Based on its brightness, Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office estimates the meteoroid’s size at around 3 feet (1-meter) across. I’m crossing my fingers meteorites might eventually be found on the ground.

More on the fireballs HERE and HERE.

Report on a hand-sized meteorite that fell in Brazil on Monday

Far from Ohio, an actual meteorite landed with a loud noise in a homeowner’s front yard in Vicencia, Pernambuco, Brazil on Monday Sept. 23. The TV video footage shows the new arrival. To read the story in the garbled language of your choice (use Google Translate) and view much clearer photos, click HERE.

19 Responses

    1. Bob Crozier

      Oh, I just noticed that someone had posted another link about this fireball in a comment a few days. It was a link to a different news site (CBC), but the same event.

    2. astrobob

      Hi Bob,
      Yes I did see it but didn’t post at the time as I was writing about a different topic and the area was remote.

  1. candis Elliott

    Did u see all the red and orange balls going across the sky saturday Saturday night about 10 pm I counted 12 they were huge ove springfield ohio lasted about 10 minutesfrom south to north west

  2. candis Elliott

    There were about 50 people watching it with us and my daughter seen if from urbana there was no sound and few changed from red and orange to a white.they just kept coming so weird

  3. Edward M. Boll

    I woke up to late to see the ISS this morning at 6:45. Tomorrow my Astronomy plan is simple. I just want to soak up the warm sunlight, this time of year that still exists. I hope that it is clear.

    1. Sean

      u should have seen the ISS earlier, in full darkness. i saw it about 4:40 or so and under binoculars, INCREDIBLE! so close, a dim body traveling nearby, CYGNUS prior to docking. SOOOO close. don’t think i have ever seen anything quite like that. by their passage after 6AM there was only one light visible in binocluars, as perhaps docking was beginning or maybe the twilight made dim CYGNUS impossible to view.

      1. astrobob

        Great that you happen to catch the ISS and the Cygnus spacecraft. I was out this a.m. observing comets ISON, Encke and Lovejoy and forgot to check on the ISS.

        1. Sean

          i’m really hoping some of those become bino-visible soon, and even better if at least ISON gets naked-eye visible. Enke might be around 8 at the end of the month, possibly?

          1. astrobob

            I think there’s a very good chance Encke will be mag. 8 by the end of Oct. Just hang in there with ISON – it should get bright enough to see with the naked eye by early-mid November.

  4. Edward M. Boll

    As Nov.9 approaches with the line up of comets and planets, this is subject to change but from what has been observed to what will be then, the best predictions I have made are Encke and ISON around magnitude 5.5 and Lovejoy around 6.

    1. astrobob

      I saw 154P/Brewington the other night through the scope. Still faint but with a surprisingly large coma. Mag. ~12 at the moment.

  5. Edward M. Boll

    The Harvard site has it brightening to 9 which could make 4 comets in November visible in large binoculars as this one is better found in the evening. But it is running dimmer than what they had for an ephemeris,so a magnitude of 10 will probably stop it from brightening any more.

  6. Phil

    While driving in central Nebraska on Thanksgiving nite approx. 10:00 PM I saw a large meteor type trail followed by a large explosion (yellow & green). Did anybody see it?

Comments are closed.