Brilliant fireball explodes over the eastern U.S.


A bright fireball streaked across the night sky over the eastern U.S. at around 23:30 UTC (18:30 LT) on October 31, 2020. The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 247 reports from eyewitnesses, most of whom described the object as the "brightest" and "biggest" they have seen.

Based on the trajectory map, the fireball traveled from a northwest to southeast direction and was visible from an area in Frankfort to North Middletown, Kentucky.

The AMS received 247 eyewitness reports from Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, the Virginias, as far north as Michigan, and as far south as Georgia.

"[It was] a very bright ball, went straight down to a point," said a watcher from Louisville, adding that it was "much bigger than any shooting star I have ever seen."

"This was seen while trick or treating," shared a viewer in Seymour, who described the fireball as big, beautiful, and bright.

A watcher from Greensburg said, "it seemed like it was falling forever and changed colors going down."

"The moon was full and I was driving straight towards the moon. This large green ball streaked right across the moon and seemed to go down to earth behind a tree line," a witness from Central City shared.

"I can’t believe I witnessed this green like a line shoot down from the ski! I really did see it," exclaimed a viewer from Bowling Green.

An observer in Baxter, Tennessee, attested that the fireball emitted various colors as it exploded into the sky. "[It was an] awesome experience, especially the colors at the end as it burned out."


Image credit: AMS

Featured image credit: Jason Sears


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