The "Pennsylvania" Fireball Event, 23 July 2001


Many people were lucky enough to see a fireball event (a very bright meteor, also known as a "bolide") in the skies of the northeast U.S.A., and as far north as southern Ontario, in the early evening (about 18:18 hours local time) of Monday, 23 July 2001. The observations were made across a region of eastern North America stretching as much as 1,000 km north-south and 500 km east-west, with the majority located in a roughly north-south corridor at least 200,000 km2 in area, a potential viewing region five times bigger than that indicated by reports on the May 6th event seen in southeast Ontario, which is also summarized on this web site.

The largest numbers of witnesses were located across the width of the state of Pennsylvania, and so the American Meteor Society refers to the event as the "Pennsylvania Bolide". A sketch map shows the distribution of some of the sightings made from Ontario and at least seven American states.

A group of Canadian astronomers and geologists concerned with meteors, meteorites and larger objects of the "Deep Impact" variety are known as MIAC , the Meteorites & Impacts Advisory Committee to the Canadian Space Agency. Scientists affiliated to MIAC would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the recent event. Anyone who saw it, and can provide details of the time, direction and appearance of the fireball, can contact MIAC via Graham Wilson in Campbellford (e-mail, telephone 705-653-5223).


For further details see the following links:

SpaceWeather -- Meteor Showers, Solar Flares, Auroras, Near-Earth Asteroids - Contemporary News Report

The American Meteor Society


Updated to 28 July 2001, links checked and outdated items removed, 26 November 2011.

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