Bright fireball streaks across French Antilles

Bright fireball streaks across French Antilles

A bright fireball exploded over the French Antilles at 00:40 UTC on April 27, 2020 (20:40 LT on April 26), lighting up the night skies between Martinique to as far north as Anguilla and as far west as Puerto Rico. The American Meteor Society (AMS) received seven reports about the event, mainly from witnesses in Grande-Terre, Saint John, and Saint Thomas.

At 02:30 UTC Monday (22:30 LT Sunday), a bright flash of light was reported from Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy, Gustavia, and Puerto Rico. 

Witnesses who submitted reports to AMS were mainly in Grande-Terre, Saint John, and Saint Thomas.

"[I] could not see the fireball, however, have multiple security cameras that show shadows of the ball approximate location," said the viewer in Saint John.

"I was really surprised to see this. It lifted me right out of my chair! I initially saw it through the window, got up, and went outside," another looker in the area stated. "Then I came back in to grab my binoculars to see if there was anything that hit the ground. There was [none]."

fireball-heatmap-april-27-2020

Image credit: AMS

Meanwhile, an observer in Antigua and Barbuda claimed that other people also witnessed the phenomenon in Saint Kitts and Florida. "No tail or fragmentation is seen-- just a super-bright flash that lit up the entire sky in every direction," he added.

The observers' description of the fireball's color varied, with some saying it looked purple and light blue, orange and yellow, or light green. One viewer noted that the object had a glowing orange train of debris and a green flash that lit up the sky very brightly.

Featured image credit: AMS

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