Oct 29/30/31 Meteors

Rates have fallen back to normal after the past 2 weeks of enhanced Orionid activity. Though the peak was about 10 nights ago and the Tucson system has picked up 430 Orionids, the best one appeared last night. What makes this meteor so impressive is its terminal burst (the flash of light at the end). This meteor was observed at 2:57 am over Tucson on the morning of Oct 31.

2:57 am on the morning of Oct 31, 2008.

Obs  Date (UT)   TotTime TOT SPO NTA STA ORI
TUS  2008-10-30  11h 23m  26  13  3   5   5
SDG  2008-10-30  10h 39m  66  40  3   10  13
TUS  2008-10-31  11h 24m  28  15  3   3   7

TUS – Camera in Tucson operated by Carl Hergenrother
SDG – Camera in San Diego operated by Bob Lunsford
TotTime – Total amount of time each camera looked for meteors
TOT – total number of meteors detected
SPO – Sporadics (meteors not affiliated with any particular meteor shower)
NTA – Northern Taurids
STA – Southern Taurids
ORI – Orionids


  1. I am pretty sure I saw a meteor around 730pm like the one in the picture above. I saw it for about 2 seconds and it was bright blue with a burst of light then it disappeared. I live in Naperville Illinois.

  2. Saw a similar massive bright meteor travelling due West around 8PM Hudson FL (North of Tampa)

  3. I saw a fireball over San Diego sometime after 10 P.M. PST. Brightest I’ve ever seen. It iluminated the tree tops slightly and the trail was visible for several seconds afterwards.

  4. I live in Palatine, Illinois and I saw the same bright comet go across the sky. It was awesome I am glad to hear that others saw this as well.

  5. October 31, 2008 East Jordan, Michigan. (Halloween night) I saw a fireball in the west going across the sky from north to south leaving a long tail & a large burst at the end. Such an awesome sight.

  6. I saw this Oct. 31 Halloween night, just ended trick or treating with family around 8pm, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Seen it from start to finish. Would have swore it was 2 or 3 hundred feet off the ground. Unbelievably bright fireball, like lightning, very long tail. Could actually see the smoke, debris? Truly incredible.

    1. <<>>

      Yes, right around the end of trick or treating. I saw a flash like lightning, looked up, and saw the dieing glow and smoke trail. Amazing.

  7. I saw this too, Milwaukee WI and was exactly as described by Tony. Brightest I’ve ever seen and could actually see smoke trail by the light of the meteor. Lasted so long and even seemed to glow for a second or two after, which is when the smoke trail was clearly visible.
    I’ve seen a lot of meteors but this was a once in a lifetime event….

  8. I forgot to add, It was so seemingly close and I could so easily see the smoke trail and the delay to the light fading I first thought it was a large roman candle type firework directly above us. amazing…

  9. I live in Racine, WI and also saw this on Halloween night. It was the coolest thing I have seen in a while. Does anyone know what it was?

  10. Hello Everyone,

    This was definitely a meteor. In fact, when meteors are this bright they are called ‘fireballs’.

    If you go to the Fireball Sightings page of the American Meteor Society at http://www.amsmeteors.org/fireball/fireball_log2008.html, you will find many reports of this fireball.

    There are reports from OH,IN,IL,WS, and MN. Most reports state that it was as bright as the Full Moon.

    There were also reports of fireballs over southern CA and Georgia.

    Thanks for all of the comments/reports,
    – Carl

  11. Wow-I thought I was the only one and also thought this was possibly a firework display! I saw this from Downers Grove, 10/31/08 and have been looking for confirmation of what I saw, online ever since. So glad to see other midwesterners report that they saw what I saw. It was awesome and I am so glad the weather was nice enough to be outside and witness the event. I am giddy now that I have found others that saw it!

  12. I think I saw a meteor west of where I live in Spring Grove Il a bit after 10 pm today April 14th. It was very large and brite. It lit the whole sky as if a full moon just peeked out from a cloud. It looked very near to the ground before it fizzled out. So low I waited to here an explosion.

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