Two very bright fireballs were spotted and recorded over the skies of Ohio, US, in just two days. They quickly became 2nd and 3rd most reported events of all time on the American Meteor Society (AMS) website.
Witnesses from Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin reported a bright light moving across the morning sky on September 26, 2013. AMS has received more than 730 reports of this large fireball seen around 11:05 UTC (7:05 am local time).
The second fireball exploded on September 28th around 03:30 UTC (September 27 around 11:30 pm local time) over central Ohio and was visible from at least 14 US states.
Witnesses report shadows cast upon the ground, unusual sounds, and a swirling contrail marking the aftermath of the blast.
"This was a very bright event," reports Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "Flares saturated our meteor cameras, and made determination of the end point (the terminus of the fireball's flight through the atmosphere) virtually impossible. Judging from the brightness, we are dealing with a meter class object."
Data from multiple cameras shows that the meteoroid hit Earth's atmosphere traveling 51 km/s (114,000 mph) and passed almost directly over Columbus, Ohio.
This second event is now 2nd most reported event of all time on AMS with 949 reports. The third most reported event of all time is fireball seen in the morning of September 26th with 735 reports. The first position, with 1239 reports, holds event observed on March 23, 2013 at 00:00 UTC.
Below is a heat map of the sightings:
Heat map for Ohio fireball meteor – September 27th, 2013 @ 11:30 PM local time. Credit: Google Maps/AMS
Trajectory for Ohio fireball meteor – September 27th, 2013 @ 11:30 PM local time. Credit: Google Maps/AMS
The fireball was caught on two NASA all sky cameras operated by Bill Cooke of the Meteoroid Environmental Office.
Featured image credit: Bill Cooke, Meteoroid Environmental Office