TIMMINS – People across northeastern Ontario are still talking about seeing a fireball falling through the sky during the evening hours on October 29.

It happened around 6:30 p.m. and social media lit like the fireball people reported seeing streaking across the horizon.

Rachel Hamelin says she saw the spectacle on her way home from work, and says she was awestruck.

"We've always watched the meteor showers in August at the cottage, so you can see all of the white streaks just all over the sky… but this was completely different because it was red and bright. It was a massive fireball. To see something like that, you see videos of it, but to actually see it with your own eyes… videos don't do it justice," says Hamlin.

Some speculated that it was a piece of a satellite, or even aliens, but an astronomy professor says it’s a common phenomenon, albeit rare to see in person.

He says the object was likely a meteor at the tail-end of a meteor shower.

"Definitely the characteristics of a very large, perhaps baseball-sized rock… flying through the earth's atmosphere and disintegrating through atmospheric friction. It's really a beautiful site," said Paul Delaney, York University.

Delaney says most meteors are destroyed by friction in the atmosphere, and those that survive can look like a rock from your garden.

He says they can give scientists much need information about our universe.

"These meteorites are a piece of our past… they're time capsule from the formation of our solar system. Being able to find them and give them to museums and other research organizations is really a valuable undertaking," he explained.

Delaney says those who saw the ball of light were pretty lucky, saying he's only seen the phenomenon maybe three times in his 40 year career.

He says if you do see one, reporting it to a meteor association can help scientists find out where it might have landed.

and another:


Fireballs Observed by Midwest Folks

On Thursday, Oct. 17, this fireball was sighted and reported by four individuals from the midwest. The fireball, which has now been recorded by the American Meteor Society, was cited by individuals located in Bentonville, Arkansas; Walton, Kansas; Albany, and Jefferson City, Missouri. This black and white photo of the fireball shown above is on the American Meteor Society website, with photo credit given to Daniel B., of Albany, Mo.

Three different meteor showers are currently active, and according to reports from local residents, recent sightings have occurred in nearby Bentonville, Arkansas, and Branson, Missouri. 

Two separate reports from Branson note fireball sightings occurred on Saturday, Oct. 26, around 10 p.m. and 10:10 p.m., respectively.  The meteor was described as “a bright flash of whiteness, with a short light blue streak – a very large falling star.” 

At present, three unique sets of meteor showers are active, namely the Southern Taurids, the Orionids, and Northern Taurids, are in viewing display.   

The Leonids, which are actually known for producing meteor storms become active Nov. 6th, and will offer viewing opportunities through Nov. 30th.

Unfortunately, the peak display period for the  Orionids has passed, as Oct. 21-22 was given this year as the best time for viewing their activity.   According to the American Meter Society, the Orionids are a medium strength shower. 

The Northern Taurids are cited as active until December 10; they are projected to peak during the night time hours of Nov. 11-12. 

The Southern Taurids are currently active through Nov. 20, and according to the American Meteor Society, in past years, when the Northern Taurids and Southern Taurids are active simultaneously, an increase in fireball activity can be recorded, especially during early November.

Meteors are caused by debris entering the Earth’s atmosphere at a high rate of speed, and showers are best viewed after midnight. And, the darker the night sky, the easier it is to observe fireballs moving across the night sky.  If moonlight is prevalent, fireballs are more difficult to see.


Seeing fireballs in the sky? Taurid Meteor Shower expected to peak in November

See any fireballs streaking across the night sky lately? Don’t be alarmed. It’s probably just the Taurid Meteor Shower, which is expected to peak around Nov. 5 to Nov. 12.

This comes about a month after the Draconids and South Taurid showers were expected to peak.

Caused by debris from comets racing by and the combined volume of the North and South Taurids, the Taurid Meteor Shower is known to produce some amazing fireballs (aka just really bright meteors), according to EarthSky, the favorite site for sky watchers everywhere.

To catch some fireballs, you should be looking to the sky starting Saturday night, Nov. 2. The best chance to catch a meteor will be after midnight on Nov. 5 through Nov. 12 with Nov. 6 being one of the predicted peak nights

The American Meteor Society explains that Taurid fireballs are notable for how slowly they travel compared to other showers. Also, they can be colorful often featuring orange.

Those hoping to catch some fireballs will have to go looking for a viewing spot away from any lights that could obscure the night sky.

Also, don’t worry about finding the right spot in the heavens to see the shower. These fireballs will be streaking all over.