All Weather News

Fireballs Light Up the Sky on Either Side of the World

4 Nov 2014, 3:57 pm

At least two fireballs lit up the sky — on either side of the world — on Monday. Creating a short-lived, but spectacular shows. The above video, from the British Broadcasting Company, shows a spectacular fireball over the city of Fukuoka just after sunset on Monday evening . The city is located on the southern-most island of Kyushu — one of the three main islands in the Japanese archipelago.

According to the BBC, the streak of light was captured by a remote-controlled camera at the city’s international airport.

Back closer to home, another fireball was captured on camera here in the United States. The American Meteor Society reports a “major fireball” was seen over parts of eastern parts of the country. Their “heat map” which graphically displays users self-reported experiences, show the fireball was seen from Atlanta to D.C. to Columbus, Ohio. There were more than 500 sightings of Monday’s celestial display.


Photo credit: American Meteor Society

What’s causing this recent spate of meteor sightings?

According to Bill Cooke, a NASA scientist based in Huntsville, Ala., they’re the result of a little-known meteor shower. “The annual Taurid meteor shower is going on right now, and we are seeing a decent number of fireballs in our meteor cameras. Folks should not be surprised if they see a bright meteor or fireball over the next few nights,” he said.

Mr. Cooke went on to say the Taurid meteors are fragments from Comet Encke, which passes the sun every 3.3 years. The meteors from the 3-mile-wide comet are also fairly large, which is what causes such bright fireballs in the sky.

If you have any pictures or video of these recent fireballs, email them to us at

Also, mark your calendars for the middle of November. One of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year — the Perseid Meteor Shower — is expected to peak on Nov. 16 and 17.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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