|Occurred : 10/31/2007 03:00 (Entered as : 10/31/07 3:00)
Reported: 11/6/2007 11:58:22 PM 23:58
Location: Middle Island, NY
|Incredibly huge fireball with ion trail and slight alteration of trajectory
We recently went stargazing on a sod field adjacent to Prosser Pines in the Middle Island area. While driving back from the area North towards Middle Country Road, we witnessed an utterly incredible fireball. It was far, far bigger than a normal shooting star (we had been watching the Orionids earlier in the month) and it's diameter was similar to that of the full moon. It appeared to be moving in an East to West motion diagonally towards the Earth, we witnessed it cover an area similar in width to the constellation Taurus. It did not however move in a straight line, it abruptly moved downwards slightly halfway through it's streak, as if it's trajectory had been abruptly altered (The best way I can explain it is picture drawing a straight line, then someone nudges your hand and your straight line is altered and continues in a different path) Because of this I believe it was 'close', at least far closer than a normal shooting star. It's motion was not similar to that of a normal shooting star. It was incredibly bright yellowish-green. It's peak brightness was comparable to an orange streetlight, it had to have been greater than -5 magnitude. It's movement appeared natural and not machine or human like. It lasted for about a second, with an ionization (?) trail lasting an additional second. It's motion was beautiful. It appeared perhaps 30 degrees above the horizon and disappeared perhaps 15 degrees above the horizon. We had been impressed with alot of what we saw in our telescope that night but this fireball made me and a friend resoundingly yell out in amazement. It looked like something that actually could have impacted on the Earth but we heard or saw nothing else past this. My roomate heard my tale of this fireball and attests he saw a similar phenomenon driving home from Riverhead in the same general area.
((NUFORC Note: Possible meteor?? PD))