June 22/23 Meteors

After a quick trip to Radio Shack I was able to get both cameras up and running again. Clouds were a problem for most of the night. Luckily it cleared up for the last hour or two of the night which is also when the most meteors can be seen.

May and June are historically very dry and clear months in Tucson. They are usually very hot as well. This year has been out of the ordinary since we have experienced lots of clouds, bouts of rain, and temperatures “only” in the 90s F. The persistent clouds have really hampered meteor observing the past few months.

Now we have to contend with the monsoon. Though it usually starts in early July, the monsoon can start as early as mid-June. The forecast is for the monsoon to ramp up this week with rain coming as soon as Wed or Thurs. As a result, meteor reports will be even more hit or miss depending on the weather for the next few months. On the positive side, July and August are very interesting months for meteor watchers with lots of active showers (including some major ones) and much higher rates.

Obs  Date (UT)   TotTime TOT SPO ANT JBO
TUS  2009-06-23  01h 49m  8   7   1   0

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
SPOSporadics (meteors not affiliated with any particular meteor shower)
ANT – Antihelions
JBO – June Bootids


  1. I saw a giant meteor june 23 about 915 or 920. It was in the southern sky and went from west to east.

    1. Hi Loretta,

      Where are you located? The reason I ask is that I have received 2 sightings of a bright meteor over Arizona in Tucson and Phoenix. The AZ fireball was seen at roughly the same time as when you saw yours.

      – Carl

    1. Also, there was a low rumble about 1 minute or so after seeing the flash, in south Tucson… impact or shockwaves?

    1. Hi Rick,

      Great!! I didn’t hear a rumble but then again it might have been too noisy in my part of town.

      The rumble was actually caused by a sonic boom or a series of sonic booms. As the small asteroid that caused the fireball breaks up, the small pieces go sub-sonic, creating sonic booms.

      The fact that you heard a rumble is very important. Sonic booms can be a sign that the fireball produced small meteorites that may have survived to reach the ground. Those impacts would not have made a sound since by then the meteorites are traveling slow (> 100 mph) so you’d have to be nearby to hear their thump.

      Thanks for the report,
      – Carl

  2. Hi Carl.

    Yes, it was positively heard about 1 minute after seeing the entry or “fireball”

    Now that i think about it, it had to have been the shockwave or supersonic boom, rather than impact.

    Me and my friend, Teryn, who commented right before I did on your site, were on the phone at the time. He was out for a walk, and i was at the computer. We live about 2 miles apart. He saw the sunlight-like light, and told me about it.

    I said, well if it was that bright, lets wait for the impact or shock tremor. It came about 1 minute later… The rumble. it was very low frequency, like thunder or a trans-sonic boom, but much more lower frequency it felt like, like an earthquake type of event.

    We both heard it at exactly the same time, so it’s real.

    Very cool.

    Great site BTW! Will be watching more often.

  3. We were playing a softball game last night in Mesa, Arizona. Just as I released a pitch, we saw this huge fireball in the southern sky. It was the largest I have ever seen. It distracted our players big time and the batter ended up with an “in-the park” home run. Oh well…. also, we didn’t hear any sound but lots of noise in the park. Very cool.

  4. I’m from new wilmington PA, and i saw a huge fireball last-night with two of my friends. It was the biggest, brightest object i have ever seen in the sky. It was in the southern sky towards Pittsburgh if i had to guess. Any more information on these fireballs? The odd thing was it didn’t diminish in size from appearance to the point it went over the horizon.

  5. Saw it off to the southwest while driving southbound in Queen Creek, AZ. Thought maybe it was a firework at first but then wondered if it really was a meteor. From this location it looked bright green with embers trailing after it.Checked on line after getting home and found this site. So glad to have seen it. Would love to see a video/pics.

  6. I saw the fireball from my apartment balcony in Santiago, Chile on the same night. It was an overcast night and to suddenly see by far the brightest and longest trail I have ever seen was extremely surprising. I also believe that I saw the object break-up. The break-up appeared like a wet match head sizzling after being struck.

    Here is a brief news article on what I saw:

    Space fireballs sighted from jetliner
    A Chilean jetliner flying to New Zealand came “uncomfortably close” to being hit by blazing objects hurtling through the atmosphere, New Zealand aviation officials said Thursday.


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