Sept 25th Ontario Fireball

Another week, another brilliant fireball! Last weekend a spectacular fireball was seen over New England. This Friday evening (Sept 25) at ~9 pm, observers from a bit further west in the eastern Great Lakes area witnessed the fireball.  Sightings have been reported to this blog and the AMS Fireball page from Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. Thanks to everyone who commented on this page. If you haven’t already, please submit a report to the American Meteor Society’s Fireball page.

Most of the reports are consistent in their description of a meteor at least as bright as the Full Moon and lasting 5-10 seconds. Most reports give a bluish/greenish color for the fireball though some reported a white or reddish color.

Luckily, the University of Southern Ontario operates a number of all-sky fireball cameras in the area. If those cameras were up and running, they all probably detected the fireball. So there’s a good chance that the fireball’s orbit can be determined. This info can be used to recover any meteorites that may have fallen.

[ADDED: The fireball network operated by the U. of Southern Ontario did, in fact, detect the fireball. They have a page devoted to the fireball which includes multiple videos, a diagram of the fireball's orbit, and the most likely location for the meteorite strewn field.]

The map below is based on reports sent to this blog and the AMS Fireball page. The red stars demote sightings while the 2 yellow stars denote reported sonic booms. The sonic booms located to the west of Toronto may pinpoint the location were the fireball came closest to the ground.

Sep25_ONT_OH

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About Carl Hergenrother
I am a professional astronomer specializing in the study of comets, asteroids and meteors. This blog will focus on my professional and amateur work in this field

19 Responses to Sept 25th Ontario Fireball

  1. Gerry says:

    My wife and I saw a very intense bright light will driving done hwy 7 guelph area at about 9 pm sept 25 and about 5 mins later when we got out we heard the loudest boom ever it scared my kids. we knew something was funny because it was a totally clear sky.

    • Marnie says:

      I’m a producer with CBC TV News, looking for people who saw or heard the fireball on September 25th. Doing a story for tonight’s news (Thursday, October 8th) so if you read this message and you saw it, please call or email me asap.
      Thanks!
      Marnie Luke 416 948-3972

  2. Cheryl says:

    I was in Orangeville Friday September 25, 2009 it was around 8-8:15. A bright light cought my attention, lighting up the sky. It was almost like a shooting star, and very close to me. It was a large bright white ball. Followed by a long white tail, lighting up it’s pathway. Up and over effect. It happened so quickly. Lasting only seconds. I noticed lots of different lights in the sky, clouds and there was a bright half moon. There was an airplane too. Other than that is was a very clear sky. It was cool!

  3. Chadwick says:

    At approximately 9:00 p.m. on 9/25/09, my wife and I observed a very bright flash in the Eastern sky. There was an initial bright flash, spherical to oval in shape, with a trailing light. It did not last for more than a few seconds. I would assume this was the same as the one mentioned here. We are located about 9 miles northeast of Saint Louis, Michigan (the geographic center of the lower peninsula). I am thankful to discover this site. I assumed it was a meteor strike, but I did not know anyone else in the area who witnessed the strike. Thanks for the information!

  4. Tara says:

    Approx. @ 9 pm on Sept 25, 09. I was sitting on the back deck with a few friends when I asw what appeared to be a firework but realizing it wasnt a firework it was a meteorite. I live in Scarboroug Ontario and I was facing East. It looked like a fireball, the size of the moon and and orangist, yellowish flames trailed. It was so close, it look as is it was just above the tree. Some thing I will never forget.

  5. frank neil says:

    I live in Havelock 0nt. and i saw the big fireball at about 930 pm
    it look like silver with flames coming out of the back about
    20 feet long.it when past my front room window, frank

  6. Ted Erwin says:

    At 9 pm on Sept 25, 09 I was driving my truck down the 403 in toronto when there was a very blinding light that hit the front of my truck it was so blinding that it made me lose control and drive in to a ditch

  7. Brian Stevens says:

    On Friday Sept 25 th 09 i was walking along the bike path in Burlington when the sky lit up i turned around and seen this fireball shooting across the sky, then all of a sudden it went out and i heard a boom, when i seen it , it didnt look like it was very high in the sky so if i were to take a guess i would say it hit Lake Ontario between Stoney Creek and Grimsby , it was so bright and stunning never even thought of pulling out my camera phone, you dont get to see something like that too often but im glad i got to be one who did

  8. Elaine Balistreri says:

    At about 9:00pm friday sept 25,2009 some of my family members and I saw what looked to be a white ball with blue and orange tint accross the north western sky of Geneva NY. At first I thought it was a shooting star but then realized it was hugh and all we could do was just watch as it dropped from the sky and fizzled out in about a total of about 10 seconds. We didnt think very many people had seen so we thought to look on the computer to see if anyone had, and we were surprized to see all the comments from all the different locations that saw it . Now we realize it must have been a lot bigger and farther away than we thought .

  9. Jen says:

    My family was driving down the 401 around the Bellville area (rural) and all of a sudden there was this very fast big ball of green, with yellow outline ~ follwed by a tall of yellow shooting down towards the ground….it shocked me as I was driving but whe I realized what it might have been (a meteorite) I was amazed….did anyone else out there see this? It was on Spetember 25, somewhere around 9 to 9:30 pm?

  10. laura says:

    My family was just leaving the Ancaster fair on Friday September 25 at approx. 9pm and we saw a big bright flash of light that lighted up the entire sky, at first we thought a transformer had blown. Yesterday I was speaking with a friend who said was driving down Highway 52 from Ancaster towards Copetown on Friday and she saw the meteor. She states it was sparking, just starting to burn out and then saw a piece of it come down in front of her over the road and landed in one of the farmer’s fields off of Highway 52.

  11. Don Locke says:

    We sailing a boat and were about a kilometer outside of Bronte harbour (Oakville Ontario). The meteor shot out from the land and hovered directly above our mast for a few seconds with an intense white light that lit up the whole lake around us. It died out to a red glow and dissappeared while still directly over us. We believe it was falling into the lake at this point.

  12. Bill says:

    I was in Rosseau Ontario, 200km north of Toronto and saw this very bright fireball descend at about a 55 degree angle (steep) and appeared to hit the earth roughly SSE to SE of our location. An amazing sight, the brightest I’ve seen in my 68 years.

  13. Robin says:

    I saw this fireball clearly, from the middle of a well-lit room, through our glass doors in Boylston, New York on Friday, September 25th, about 9 p.m. I ran to open the doors, and heard no sound. It was white, and seemed to have an irregular tail. It did not travel fast like the usual, much smaller appearing “shooting stars.” And it was much larger. (The location of the sighting is more specifically Plantz Corners, Lat: 43.6661802, Lon: -75.9113063, roughly 12 miles due east of Lake Ontario)

  14. Cori says:

    Just before my boyfriend proposed to me in our backyard in Erin, Ontario at around 9:00 pm we saw a bright white light falling through the sky….does this mean good luck and bad luck for our marriage???

  15. hundalei says:

    Was driving North to Muskoka with friends on Hwy 12 north of Beaverton, ON when we saw the fireball. As the driver I was looking straight north when the sky light right up wiht what seemed like a flash of lightning which was confusing as I had just commented on the clarity of the big dipper. My friend was looking up and slighlty east being in the rear passenger seat, and he described it as “the largest brightest shooting star” he’d ever seen. He said it streaked across the sky as far as he could see.

  16. vish says:

    me an my girlfriend where having a smoke on the balcony in Brampton.Ont when about 9p.m Sept.25 we saw a bright reddish fireball in the shy WOW something that i will never forget!

  17. Rose says:

    My husband and I were driving on Hwy 10 & King going towards Brampton around 9pm Sept 25th we both saw it we couldn’t believe it….a few weeks later we heard it on the news I think this one touched down not too far from this area.

  18. Lesley says:

    On December 18th/2009, at around 1030pm, I witnessed a fireball steak across the north sky close to east, it was bright, moved very quikly probably lasted tops 2seconds, It was a orangy firball with a tail, I never seen anything like efore, I was in amazment, I live in corner brook newfoundland, did anyone else witnessed this?

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