KEY POINTS

  • A fireball event was spotted over different parts of the U.S.
  • Videos of the fireball showed the object exploding mid-air
  • The fireball might have been caused by a meteor

Eyewitnesses from different parts of the U.S. were able to capture videos of a fireball streaking across the sky and exploding mid-air. Based on the videos and eyewitness reports, the fireball may have been caused by a small asteroid that hit Earth.

Several people from across the country reported seeing a fireball event on June 19. According to their reports, which were submitted to the American Meteor Society (AMS), the incident occurred at around 12:20 a.m. CDT or 1:20 a.m. EDT.

The fireball was spotted by residents of various cities in Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. The fiery object reportedly appeared in the sky for about a couple of seconds before disappearing.

In a couple of videos and photos captured by the eyewitnesses, the fireball appeared with a greenish glow and a long bright tail as it streaked across the sky. One of the clips showed how the fireball illuminated the entire sky as it passed by.

“I went out to see the lighting of storms coming into Wichita from the northwest,” an eyewitness named Jeffrey C. from Kansas stated in his report. “After a flash of lighting, the sky turned a greenish-blue color and lit up the sky. I saw the fireball come over my house from the south heading north. it burned up half in the sky after passing over my home.”

Before reaching the ground, the object flickered and produced a couple of bright flashes before completely disappearing. This indicates that the fireball exploded mid-air. One of the eyewitnesses also stated that he heard a loud sound similar to a cannon firing shortly after the fireball disappeared.

Based on the videos and reports provided by the eyewitnesses, the fireball was most likely caused by a small space rock that hit Earth. As it entered Earth’s atmosphere, it became a meteor. Due to the bright flash and explosion it produced, the fireball could be a bolide.

“A fireball is another term for a very bright meteor, generally brighter than magnitude -4, which is about the same magnitude of the planet Venus in the morning or evening sky,” the AMS explained. “A bolide is a special type of fireball which explodes in a bright terminal flash at its end, often with visible fragmentation.”

Fireball Event Fireball event over Arizona Photo: Mount Lemmon Sky Center/ American Meteor Society (https://www.amsmeteors.org/)