Did you see it? Fireball reported over western skies

Inset picture of actual fireball courtesy of Heath Serna. Background picture courtesy of Pixabay, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A fireball seen Tuesday night over skies in the western United States attracted quite a bit of attention.

A fireball was observed over a wide part of the western United States Tuesday night, Springdale, Utah, Feb. 6, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Heath Serna, St. George News.

The American Meteor Society reported on their website that the fireball, which occurred at approximately 7:33 p.m. MST, was seen by viewers in a wide swath over the West. Reports flooded in from California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and one report from St. George.

The meteor was very noticeable in most areas. An observer in Emeryville, California, sent his description of the sighting to the American Meteor Society website.

“It was a bit frightening to see something this large and bright in the sky, Total observation time was about 5 minutes as a small fuzzy dot became large and bright.”

Some observers reported that the object split in two before fizzling out. A second observer said the meteor lasted for 10-12 seconds after it broke up.

“I saw it before the fragmentation began,” observer Ashley G. in Centennial, Colorado, said. “It first appeared as a white ball then it came closer and it exploded, leaving behind two tails (and) within 10-12 seconds it ended.”

St. George observer Alisha N. saw the meteor for well over one minute.

“It was something I have never seen before, and showed my boyfriend and his dad and neither of them had seen anything like that before.”

As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, the American Meteor Society had received 28 reports of the meteor. If you saw the fireball and would like to file a report, you can log your sighting at the American Meteor Society’s webpage. The event number is 501-2018.

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Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.



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1 Comment

  • John February 8, 2018 at 8:56 am

    I live in Ivins but was vacationing near Palm Springs and watched this pass overhead, going from west to east. It lasted several minutes — long enough to phone my wife who then called some neighbors and so several people watched it. It appeared as a fuzzy “star” far brighter than anything else in the sky moving very slowly, so I turned high-power tripod-mounted binoculars on it and watched it pick up speed, grow larger, and become fan-like with a brilliant center and material coming from it in a cone shape that spanned several degrees. After several minutes it faded slowly as the bright “flame” burned out and then the bright fan dissipated in 20 seconds or thereabout. I’ve seen hundreds of meteors but never any remotely like this. It did, however, look like the upper stage of a rocket separating and briefly firing before burning out.

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