Very bright fireball over the northeastern Netherlands


A very bright fireball streaked through the night sky over the northeastern Netherlands, near the border with Germany at around 21:44 UTC (23:44 LT) on April 4, 2020. The event comes after two fireballs exploded within one hour over Belgium on April 1, followed by another fireball over southern Germany just two and a half hours later.

The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 449 reports about the event, with witnesses as far as in Fenton, England.

The fireball was seen over Ile-de-France and Grand Est in France; Berlin, Hamburg, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, and Bremen in Germany; Denmark; District de Luxembourg; England; Belgium; Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland, Groningen, Overijssel, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, and Gelderland in the Netherlands.

A viewer from Stoney Stanton in England said although he has seen a couple of fireballs, this one was the largest and "best one" he has ever seen.

Another witness from Capel Saint Mary described the fireball as red-orange in color with a sparkly trail. "It shocked me as the angle looked like it was going to strike the earth but then it disappeared. [It] gave me goosebumps."

According to the AMS' calculated trajectory, the meteor traveled in a southeast to northwest direction, near the Dutch-German border.


Image credit: AMS

"I saw this fireball go down the neighboring building. I was on the third floor, which is the top [of] both buildings. It was burning like a ball of paper, like, very bright," one observer from Nykobing Falster, Denmark, described his experience.

"I've seen meteors and flashes but never a fireball like that. [It's] like a shooting star going all the way to the ground."

"I really saw it, but no one will believe me. It was really cool," exclaimed a viewer from Niedersachsen, Germany.

The event was also captured by at least four FRIPON network cameras in Denekamp and Oldenburg. Meanwhile, the AllSky7 Network registered the event on six cameras.


Image credit: FRIPON


Image credit: AllSky7


Image credit: Reinder F./AMS


Image credit: Fernand E./AMS


Image credit: Theo J./AMS


Image credit: Anton S./AMS

Featured image credit: Theo J./AMS


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