Two large fireballs seen in North East

The American Meteor Society has received numerous reports regarding two large fireballs spotted over the North Eastern United States on the evening of May 1st.

The first event happened around 9:30 EST and was seen from Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Ontario and Pennsylvania. Witness reports indicate the fireball occurred somewhere over North-Central New York.

Below is a map of the witness reports and estimated fireball trajectory. Click the image to read the witness reports and view an interactive map for this event.

Fireball Meteor - May 1st 9:30 EST

Fireball Meteor – May 1st 9:30 EST

Two hours and fifteen minutes later at 11:45, witnesses from Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia reported a bright fireball meteor over central Pennsylvania.

Below is a map of the witness reports and estimated trajectory for the second fireball event.

Fireball Meteor - May 1st, 2013 11:45 EST

Fireball Meteor – May 1st, 2013 11:45 EST

With the peak of the Eta Aquarids just a few days away, one might guess these events are related to the meteor shower, however due to the timing and location this is not likely. First, both of these fireballs occurred several hours before the Eta Aquarids radiant had even risen. Secondly the radiants for these fireballs were no where near the Eta Aquarids radiant. Event 967 which occurred first, started in the west and headed east , this would place its radiant on the opposite side of the sky from the meteor shower radiant. The second event also happened more than 4 hours before the Eta Aquarids radiant had risen, and this fireball originated in the south west, heading north east, placing its radiant far from that of the meteor shower as well.

If you witnessed either event please complete an official fireball report.

About Mike Hankey

Mike Hankey is a software developer, entrepreneur, amateur astronomer, astrophotographer, meteor observer and meteorite hunter. Mike's enthusiasm for meteors led him to the American Meteor Society where he volunteered his time and the services of his software development company to redesign the AMS website and fireball reporting tool. In 2011 Mike was awarded the society's C.P. Olivier award for his work. In 2012 Mike was promoted to the role of Operations Manager. Mike and his company continue to maintain and enhance the AMS website and fireball reporting tools. You can see Mike's photography work and read more of his posts on his astronomy blog: MikesAstroPhotos.com. Mike can be contacted at mike.hankey [AT] gmail.com
5 Responses
  1. Pingback: Eta Aquarid meteor shower this weekend; was Wednesday night fireball sneak preview?

  2. I was in Quebec( I live in ontario)…montreal to be exact….seen the streak of light thot shooting star, but then it dropped again towards horizon and streaked…was a brite white ball…no colour this was at 930 or so and was more mid sky to wards horizon not sure of direction of travel but can find out from my coworker who knows montreal

    hope it helps

    • john tait says: May 5, 2013 at 7:12 pm


      I saw the May 1st 9:34 fireball from toronto looking due east from my window. I had a feeling it was moving sort of away going from nw to se. It was a steep entry angle, probably exaggerated by my vantage point and its relative trajectory. I was thinking if it started burning like i saw so low on the horizon, it must be pretty far away, like maybe towards Montreal or south of that, where I believe it was also witnessed. It turns out that is pretty close to the listed trajectory. Pretty kewl stuff…

  3. Scott V. says: May 5, 2013 at 3:37 am

    I saw a fireball while on the East bound Pa turnpike mile marker 300 or so, at 3:10 am Saturday May 4th, 2013. It was headed north to south at a high rate of speed, smoke trail all around the object leading back for a 1/4 of the visible sky. Object was breaking up and throwing small burning chunks away from the main body. I saw a lot of mention of earlier events, thought I would say it continued into the night.

  4. I Saw a Meteor on Friday Night . I Live in Virginia in Buchanan County and it was a Little after 9:30 PM. The Meteor Appeared in the Sky in the East and headed toward the East it flamed up then turned a bright green color.

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