Over 900 reports from 8 states
The AMS has received over 900 reports so far about of a slow and bright fireball seen above South and North Carolina on Thursday, April 4th 2019 around 6:50am EDT (10:50 Universal Time). The event was mainly seen from the Carolina’s but we also received reports from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
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The preliminary 3D trajectory computed based on all the reports submitted to the AMS shows that the fireball was traveling from West to East and ended its flight East of Ivanhoe, NC.
Videos and Photos
The event has been caught by Pat Branch from Greenville, PA on an AMS AllSky6 camera system:
We also received numerous videos of the event from witnesses – all of them can been seen from the AMS Event #1561-2019 page.
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.