Northeastern USA Fireball Sunday Morning 7/17/11

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The American Meteor Society has received reports of a very bright fireball over the New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania area. It occurred a few minutes after 4am
EDT on Sunday morning July 17th. Of the dozen or so reports received so far, color descriptions span the entire rainbow. They all agree that it was very bright, exceeding the light of the full moon. The AMS will post any video of this object should it become available.

In the AMS fireball table, refer to event #684 for 2011.

Clear Skies!

Robert Lunsford



  • Lisa 12 years ago

    I was sitting on our north-facing front porch, in the wee hours of Sunday morning and were out until at least 4:30am, talking (we’d lost track of time til we headed back in)… Our guest and I, saw a flash and turned our heads just in time to see a BRIGHT BIG turquoise colored fireball. It was over in seconds, from flash/attention getting until it headed straight down and out of sight behind our neighbor’s house. It was truly spectacular and I was so glad our guest saw it too and confirmed what I saw.

    Reply to Lisa
  • Patty Brewster 12 years ago

    My husband and I saw the fireball on Sunday morning. We live in Stamford, NY. Glad the mystery is solved because we did not know what it was! It was so bright that it made my husband jump, he thought it was lightning. We also heard a boom about 1-2 minutes after we saw the flash of light. Is this normal???

    Reply to Patty
    • amsadmin 12 years ago

      Patty and All,

      Fireballs can cause sonic booms if they survive long enough to enter the lower atmosphere. 99.99% of them completely disintegrate while still many miles up. They are traveling many times the speed of sound so a sonic boom is produced when it reaches the lower atmosphere where the air is able to carry sound waves. Congratulations on your rare observation!

      Robert Lunsford
      American Meteor Society

      Reply to amsadmin
  • Betty Jane Tallett 12 years ago

    7/19/11- Hi, my son saw the object late Sunday night/early Monday morning. He was driving south on Rte 1 in Levittown PA (Lincoln Hwy) & saw it to his left. It was traveling fast & heading south. He watched it until it disappeared.
    Betty Jane Tallett
    Levittown, PA

    Reply to Betty
  • Dave Netter 12 years ago

    I was with my boyfriend at the time of the event. I’m so glad that we got to share this special time together. It was just the two of us alone in the deep woods of the Catskil mountains. We had just finished an intimate moment when we saw the flash. I truly made the whole night SPECTACULAR!!!

    Reply to Dave
  • Gail Phillips 12 years ago

    I cant understand why I cant get any response wasn’t even added to those who saw the fireballs on may 20 2011 I posted the sighting and have since found material in my yard that may be part of it but cant get any one to use it I also have pictures and video of the material found after the may 20 vent that I witnessed may be some one could point in the right direction to find out about the stuff i left behind it is cool; however Gail Phillips LaGrange Ga 706/881/4271 pics and video on my face book page

    Reply to Gail
  • Chris Dickerson 12 years ago

    Dave, it was an incredible! I’m glad you and your partner got to expierence this once in a lifetime event. It must have been amazing. If I were only so lucky. Makes myself want to keep my eyes open to all possibilities!

    Reply to Chris
  • Gerry 12 years ago

    We were coming back from a call just after 4am. We were at 15th ave and south 17th in Newark, Nj heading north when we saw it north west of our location. First we saw a blueish green light then when we saw it it was whiteish blue fireball in at least 3 or 4 pieces until it burnt out

    Reply to Gerry
  • Jasper Yung 12 years ago

    Around 4 am Sunday morning I was driving on rt130 north bound right before the merge onto the us1 highway in North Brunswick in NJ when I witnessed the same bluish fireball shooting through the sky. At first it was a solid blue fireball flying through the sky then I noticed a few pieces breaking apart from the main body. It then disappeared behind the tree line in front of me before I merged onto rt us1 heading northbound. Indeed a spectacular experience for me that morning. I hope more information will be available about this event as I will be on the lookout for it.

    Reply to Jasper
  • Leonor 12 years ago

    I had looked all over the internet for reports the moment i got home like 4:30 am . Today is the first time my searches finally answered what I saw the morning of the 17th. I was driving on the garden state parkway going north i was passing exit 109 and coming up to exit 114 i was looking out my windshield saw a blue and white centered ball of light it fell in a thirty degree angle it seemed so close in my windshield it looked as if it was the size of three quarters put together. fell behind the tree line on my right on the pkwy. i have never seen something like this and is etched in my brain forever. I t lasted all of about 3-4 seconds. looked as if it came directly down and i swore it was in the bushes some where. Gail Phillips please find me on face book this is my email (should make it east to find me this way) I tried finding you but too many Gail Phillips … Truly amazing experience! unbelievable! Glad there are more pple that witnessed this with me 🙂

    Reply to Leonor
  • David M. Gonzalez 12 years ago

    I remember seeing a large orange streak across the sky. It was the first time I ever saw one like that. I have seen meteor showers leave green streaks cutting through the atmosphere yet I never saw anything like that.

    Reply to David

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