Charles P. Olivier, founder of the American Meteor Society (AMS), started to gather data from fireball witnesses in the 1930s.

Since 2011, the AMS has accepted reports of suspected fireballs, bolides and space debris reentry from the general public through an interactive multiple steps online form. The form has been specifically designed to be usable by people with no astronomy experience.

fireball-report

The Fireball Report Form allows collecting the following information:

  • Location of the witness at the time of the event (latitude, longitude, altitude, state and country)
  • Date, time and duration of the sighting
  • Starting and Ending elevation and azimuth
  • Stellar magnitude and color
  • Train information (duration, length)
  • Terminal Flash and fragmentation
  • Sonic Effect (concurrent and/or delayed sound – time and duration)
  • Contact information of the witness

Moreover, the form allows witnesses to share videos and photos of their sightings. We have currently 4,865 videos and 5,723 photos available on our websites.

Between 2005 and 2022, the AMS and its have received more than 266,000 visual reports grouped into approximately 52,000 celestial events. 248 of these events have more than 100 reports, 38 events have more than 500 reports  and 7 events have more than 1,000 reports. All the statistics are available online.

The IMO joined the fireball program in 2015. With the help from members of the IMO community, the fireball reporting application has been translated into 32 different languages and linked from regional astronomy and meteor clubs in various countries around the world. Each of these organizations have a now a customized version of the form.

Today, we are proud to welcome the 32th organization “Fireball Aotearoa” from New Zealand!

Any organizations interested should contact Vincent Perlerin.

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4 comments

  • Fantastic! What an amazing collection.
    I wish I had heard of this before now, I have had amazing luck sighting shooting stars as I tend to spend a lot of time outside in the evenings. But in recent memory I have definitely witnessed something of a more fireball sounding description. I’ll have to check the records for anything that may fit but I do believe it was late in the winter of 2019 or early spring of 2020 I witnessed a very bright very long tail of a bright greenish hue in the northern sky as viewed from SW Iowa in the US. Unfortunately I cannot at this time give an exact time or date. Tho with a bit of research I bet I can hit it within the exact month. (if had knew of a place to report at the time I would have made careful note of the details. Maybe next time. Lol.) I’m rather accustomed to the sight of shooting stars but this was an amazing sight.
    Anyway, I am glad to have found this place, Greetings from the otherside of the world!

    Reply to James McDaniel
  • Saw a what looked like a Meteortite or bright red Fireball in the sky above Auckland at 2. 42 am 23/03/22. I witnessed it with my own eyes from where I worked. I was like woah yo that’s cool. Looked at the time afterwards and then viewed some security footage. And captured 2 recordings from two different cameras .

    Reply to Mark Van Echten
    • Hi Mark,
      Had the great privilige of visiting both the North and South Islands a few years back. A beautiful country!
      I don’t think we have any members in New Zealand yet, I’m hoping you might join the IMO as the first NZ member and fly the flag for us in the land of the long white cloud.
      Cheers,
      Bill.

      Reply to Bill Ward

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