Reports Report 1684g (Event 1684-2017)

Name Gail M
Experience Level 3/5
Remarks There were three of us (out counting night birds in the park) - we all observed the fireball, even though one of our party was separated from us about 100m away. I was focusing on a calling bird in the woods ahead of us, when I noticed out of the corner of my eye a bright light above me. My husband looked up at the same time. For a fraction of a second I thought it was a low flying helicopter, albeit a silent one, but immediately realized it was a fireball. It passed overhead, with at least two episodes of fragmentation, before falling below the tree line. However it was so bright that it could still be easily observed through the thin foliage. From directly overhead -when first observed - I would estimate it arced though about 30 degrees of the sky. We did speculate that it might have been a failing satellite, not a meteor. ( I should add that I have my graduate degree from Dept. Of Earth & Planetary Sciences of Johns Hopkins, and was teaching assistant for course in astronomy of solar system, so not a totally naive observer. )
Address Lewes, DE
Latitude 38° 45' 52.85'' N (38.76468°)
Longitude 75° 5' 0.78'' W (-75.08355°)
Elevation 2.004m
Time and Duration
Local Date & Time 2017-05-19 04:25 EDT
UT Date & Time 2017-05-19 08:25 UT
Duration ≈3.5s
Moving direction From up left to down right
Descent Angle 123°
Facing azimuth 132.37°
First azimuth 132.58°
First elevation 90°
Last azimuth 138.82°
Last elevation 45°
Brightness and color
Stellar Magnitude -11
Color White
Concurrent Sound
Observation No
Remarks -
Delayed Sound
Observation Unknown
Remarks -
Persistent train
Observation Unknown
Duration -
Length -
Remarks -
Terminal flash
Observation Yes
Remarks As the fireball passed overhead, there were at least two episodes of fragmentation (see below) and a terminal flash or final fragmentation and then, darkness.
Observation Yes
Remarks Two episodes of fragmentation, with glowing fragments ejected from the main track, glowing and then fading.