Mar 26/27 to Apr 2/3 Meteors

We have at least another 2 weeks before the start of the Lyrid meteor shower. Though this shower can be considered the strongest of the minor showers, or the weakest of the major showers, it will bring a noticeable increase in meteor rates. Currently there is not much happening. Video rates have been suppressed lately due to lots of clouds and a bright Moon in the morning sky.

Obs  Date(UT)      Time    TOT SPO ANT ZSE ZCG
TUS  2010-04-03   09h 46m   9   7   2   -   0
TUS  2010-04-02   04h 50m   7   6   1   -   0
TUS  2010-04-01   00h 00m   Bad Weather
TUS  2010-03-31   08h 15m   2   1   0   -   1
TUS  2010-03-30   09h 49m   2   1   1   -   0
TUS  2010-03-29   09h 57m   12  10  1   0   1
TUS  2010-03-28   09h 59m   9   8   0   0   1
TUS  2010-03-27   10h 00m   11  8   3   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
SPO - Sporadics (meteors not affiliated with any particular meteor shower)
ANT - Antihelions
GNO - Gamma Normids
ZSE - Zeta Serpendids
ZCG - Zeta Cygnids


  1. today my husband and I saw a green ball falling from the sky at about 2:01 am. we were both standing at the edge of our drive way. It looked like a firework but it didnt seem to disappear or anythng nor did it have a noise. Do you think it was just a meteor? we are very intrested to know. neither of us have seen anything like it. It came from the sky and looked like it may have actually gone all the way to the ground but are not sure… we couldnt see because of trees in the way.

  2. We saw it over Bossier City LA as well. Looked like it was heading SSE. VERY bright.

    1. Hi Tiffany,

      Your description is a prefect match for a large, slow fireball. Most meteors are very small (not much larger than grains of sand), very fast (they hit the atmosphere at speeds of 40-70 km/s) and very quick (they last for a second or less). The bright fireballs usually last much longer (2-10 seconds) because they travel slower (11-20 km/s) and are larger (maybe the size of a small rock).

      The difference is due to where the meteor originally comes from. The small, fast meteors are dust from comets. The slower, larger meteors are from the asteroids and can actually be thought of as very small asteroids. Some of these slow bright fireballs may even be large enough to survive passage through the atmosphere and land on the ground as meteorites.

      So based on your description, you saw a small asteroid (maybe a inch across) that started to be visible at a height of ~70km. It continued to descend through the atmosphere and finally burned out at a height of ~40km above the ground. It is unlikely any pieces remained to reach the ground.

      I’ll be on the look out for any additional info/sightings.

      Hope that helps,
      – Carl

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