NUFORC Advisory: Dramatic Fireball Over Eastern U. S. at 21:44 hrs (EDT) on Sunday Night, March 29, 2009NUFORC has received a number of telephone calls, as well as written reports, of a dramatic fireball that was seen at approximately 21:44 hrs. (EDT) on Sunday night, March 29, 2009 .
By Peter Davenport
By Peter Davenport
One witness in South Hill , Virginia , reported having been witness to a large fireball, its apparent size larger than the (apparent) size of the full Moon, in the eastern sky, which lasted for a few seconds.
She reported that she was driving east, and looking straight ahead, when she saw the object streak from her left to right, moving parallel to a horizontal line. She added that it appeared to her to make a sudden change of course, and then descend, before disappearing beyond her horizon.
The object generated a visible tail, according to this witness.
Other reports were submitted from Annapolis , MD ; White Lake , NC ; Virginia Beach , VA ; and Norfolk , VA. I suspect that more reports will be forthcoming soon.
My first guess would be that the object may have been a dramatic meteor, but that is pure surmise, at this point. No "terminal burst" has been reported for the object, yet, which is somewhat unusual for a meteor that was as dramatic as reported, based on my experience.
More . . .
Streaking lights, explosions reported all along coast
By Patrick WilsonWere they meteors? A comet? UFOs?
People from Maryland to Hampton Roads heard loud explosions and saw brilliant, streaking lights in the sky Sunday night.
There was no immediate explanation, the National Weather Service office in Wakefield said. The Virginia Beach 911 center had numerous calls waiting just before 10 p.m., a supervisor said.
The Weather Service said reports were made from Dorchester County, Md., to the Virginia/North Carolina border. People said they saw a streak in the sky and heard an explosion.
“It was orange, like a fireball,” said Steve Wagner, who lives in the Great Bridge area of Chesapeake and said what he saw was too close to be a shooting star. Wagner was outside cooking with family when he saw the streak. He said he went inside when his daughter called, then heard an explosion that sounded like thunder.
Chris Wamsley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Wakefield office, said there could be various causes of the explosions and lights. A team of people is looking into what happened, he said.
Lindsey Hosek of the Great Neck area of Virginia Beach was jogging along the water with her dog when the sky lit up, she said.
“The bright light at first terrified me because I thought somebody was shining a light on me, and then I saw it, and I was in complete awe because it was so beautiful,” she said.
Then she saw something that looked like a comet moving low toward the ground; it was blue in front followed by orange and appeared to be the shape and size of a refrigerator.
“It was just so low. It was like where a bird should be,” she said. “It was definitely heading downward.”
She was on the phone with a friend a minute later when she heard an explosion.
Kenneth Martin of Chesapeake’s South Norfolk neighborhood said he saw what appeared to be lightning, then the sky turned blue.
Then, he said, a white ball of fire shot close to the ground and appeared to burn out. He said he’s sure it was a meteor.
“It was so vivid in the sky, blinking,” he said. “It was the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.”
No damage was reported, the Weather Service said.
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