Very bright fireball explodes over Arizona, 4th major fireball within 10 hours


A very bright fireball streaked through the night sky over Arizona at around 03:29 UTC on November 15, 2017 (20:29 MST, November 14). The event lasted up to 7 seconds and does not appear as a good candidate for the Taurid Meteor Shower. This is the 4th major fireball event within 10 hours.

The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 108 reports by 14:50 UTC. 12 people reported a sound associated with the event, 4 heard concurrent and 8 delayed sound. 34 people reported fragmentation.

The event was seen from Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico.

Video courtesy J. Verrico (Gilbert, AZ), AMS

Video courtesy Q. Ye (South Pasadena, CA), AMS

Video courtesy R. McLaws (Cedar City, Utah), AMS

Video courtesy A. Hayslip (Mormon Lake, AZ), AMS

Bright fireball over Arizona on November 15, 2017 (UTC)

Bright fireball over Arizona on November 15, 2017 (UTC). Credit: A. Hayslip, AMS

"The first estimated 3D trajectory doesn’t make this fireball a good candidate for the Taurid Meteor Shower," AMS said. "Traveling from North-West to South-East, the visible path of the fireball ended somewhere east of Happy Jack, AZ."

Bright fireball over Arizona on November 15, 2017 (UTC) - preliminary 3D trajectory

Bright fireball over Arizona on November 15, 2017 (UTC) – preliminary 3D trajectory. Credit: AMS

Bright fireball over Arizona on November 15, 2017 (UTC) - heatmap

Bright fireball over Arizona on November 15, 2017 (UTC) – heatmap. Credit: AMS

This is the 4th major fireball event within 10 hours. The first event took place at 16:48 UTC on November 14 over western Germany and, with over 1150 reports, it soon became the most reported fireball event from Europe since the AMS and the IMO launched the international version of the AMS fireball form. 

The second event took place over France at 21:32 UTC (22:32 CET) on November 14 and was reported so far by 42 witnesses. The event has been caught by 10 cameras of the French Network (Toulouse, Angers, Talence, Sabres, Carcassonne, Aurillac, Hendaye, Saint Bonnet Vert, Coulounieix-Chamiers and Mauroux).

Fireball over France at 21:32 UTC on November 14, 2017

Fireball over France at 21:32 UTC on November 14, 2017. Credit: FRIPON

The third event took place over Ohio, United States at 01:49 UTC on November 15. So far, the AMS received 38 reports. One of the witnesses said a concurrent sound was associated with the event while 13 saw it fragment.

Video courtesy J. Williams (Fairpoint, Ohio), AMS

"The first analysis conducted by former IMO president Dr. Juergen Rendtel of the Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam from the raw data shows that the events that occurred over Arizona and France cannot be linked to the Taurids: the Arizona event was moving from North-West to South-East while the French event was moving from North-East to South-West," IMO said.

"However, the events over Germany and Ohio fit the Taurids direction (East->West) and the low inclination angle at the time of the sightings! Note that the East-West direction is related to the Taurids only because the fireball occurred in the local evening. Later in the night or towards the morning the direction is different, of course."

Featured image: Bright fireball over Arizona on November 15, 2017 (UTC) Credit: J. Verrico (Gilbert, AZ), AMS


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One Comment

  1. Fireball activity has increased dramatically over the last four years. You can see the following link. Meteor fireballs are increasing exponentially but nobody knows why https://www.sott.net/article/309988-NASA-space-data-supports-citizens-observations-Meteor-fireballs-are-increasing-exponentially
    YES, this is solid evidence that the solar system is continuing to move into a dense area of space where it is encountering a higher density of rocks, asteroids, along with the debris trails of many comets. In the E-book that I published in 2013, Helical Universe, I explained this issue in the chapter “The Transformation Cycle of our Helical Solar System.”

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