Meteor Blazed Above the Pacific Northwest Tuesday, February 19

Article Updated: 20 Feb , 2008
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Many lucky people in the Pacific Northwest United States got the treat of a lifetime on Tuesday morning. A bright fireball blazed across the sky at 5:31 am near Portland, Oregon. Apparently the meteor was so bright, people saw it in Washington, Idaho, and even as far away as British Columbia (hey, why didn’t I see it?).

Here’s a surveillance video captured by a camera in Boise, Idaho.

I often get emails from people who saw a bright fireball in the sky. When I’m done seething with jealousy, I suggest they contact their appropriate meteor society (for example, the American Meteor Society in the US) and report the details. Scientists working in this field will thank you.

So let me know, were you one of the lucky ones to see it? Post your story in the comments.


11 Responses

  1. Thiis Gall... says:

    apparently it was a meteor hitting the Earth.

  2. John Zych says:

    I think I saw this same flash from detroit!! I was driving to work at around 5:45 AM Detroit Time and I saw a flash on the Horizon. I thought it could have been from the industrial plant a mile or two up the road but when I drove by nothing was wrong. I wrote it off until I saw this story! Thinking back I was driving West and the flash came out of the west-north west direction. Amazing!! How could something so bright leave no damage??????

  3. PaulS says:

    JohnZ,

    That could not have been the same object. The fireball in the NW was at 5:31am Portland time, which would have been 8:31am Detroit time. Unfortunately, I missed it (I live in Portland). I would have been in the shower about that time…

    Reports are sketchy, but there were some observations that indicate the fireball may have hit the Earth near Walla Walla, WA. No reports of damage or debris found yet.

  4. hello says:

    dont forget the sattelite, and fighter jets accompaning a huge jumbo jet

  5. tacitus says:

    Oh dear, you seem to have attracted a full out woo blog to link your site.

    🙁

  6. Andrei says:

    Maybe the spy satellite finally hit the ground?… a little bit off though.

  7. E Wolfe says:

    It’s been a terrific few days for a Northwest skywatcher like myself!

    I was warming up the car, heading across the street for the newspaper when a bright flash lit up the sky to the South. I was not facing that direction directly, but caught the fireball in my peripheral vision. My first thought wasn’t “meteor”, but airplane or jet coming down. It was bright, more so because it was so early in the morning.

    Last night, we waited patiently for the wayward satellite to make a pass overhead and sure enough, it was well within the window suggested by HeavensAbove. Very easy to see, and easy to find as it’s path intersected Mars from our viewpoint. As it turned out, that 6:09pm sighting was it’s last orbit… a few hours later, we saw on the news that the Navy splattered it across the sky.

    And to top it off, a total lunar eclipse, the last visible in our area for several years. Clear skies made for a great show.

    All three events prompted lengthy discussions of physics, celestial mechanics and astronomy with our son, currently taking AP physics. Great teaching examples.

  8. logan chancellor says:

    wasn’t lucky enough to see this one, but back in september i got to see a fireball as bright as the full moon, fragment into at least six pieces. Two other people confirmed , me in Albuquerque, and another in Santa Fe, and a kid in Mesa. beautiful green with a terminal sound. it was awe.

  9. paradoc says:

    Thank god it was real! I was driving to work at 5:45am ( south east corner of b.c.) saw the streak of light then the mountains lit up from behind! I didnt tell anyone because i wasnt sure what it was ( if you claim to see little green men, they dont let you administer drugs), i told my chief the next day and he said to check here…if anyone knew it would be you guys!
    thanks for the reassurance!

  10. Alan Schmeelk says:

    In reply to to john zych who asked how anything so bright could leave no damage: It was obviously a politician falling, all flash and no substance, ergo, no damage.
    (ps. wish I had seen it)

  11. Bonnie Davis says:

    On Feb. 18th, I saw what I and another guy thought was the satellite on fire until we found out later that there was no way that could of been what it was later on the news (it wasn’t being shot down until a day later. It was orange and had a tail and we actually saw it at 6:30pm Texas time towards the West sky.

    Freeport, TX

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