Over 575 reports from 11 states
The AMS has received over 575 reports so far about of a bright fireball seen above the East Coast area on January 9th, 2019 around 6:34am EST (11:34 Universal Time). The event was seen from Connecticut to South Carolina.
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 preliminary 3D trajectory computed based on all the reports submitted to the AMS shows that the fireball was traveling from North-East to South-West and ended its flight somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean North East of Norfolk, VA.
We received a total of 5 videos for this event so far and Twitter user, Jeremy Settle (Assistant News Director @News12NJ) shared another video of the event with us. Here is a compilation of all these videos:
Based on our first analysis, it looks like the event was a fireball. A fireball is another term for a very bright meteor, generally brighter than magnitude -4, which is about the same magnitude of the planet Venus currently visible in the morning sky.
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 1 fireball of magnitude -6 or better for every 200 hours of meteor observing, while a fireball of magnitude -4 can be expected about once every 20 hours or so.
So, if you saw this one: congrats, it’s a nice way start the year!