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Arizona Fireball Visible Across 6 States

Phoenix City Cam photo
(Image courtesy of Phoenix.gov/CityCam)
The Phoenix CityCam caught the flash of light around 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 14, 2017.

Arizonans were treated to an unusual spectacle Tuesday night as a fireball flashed across the sky around 8:30 p.m.

The American Meteor Society received reports from six states describing the object, which flashed brighter than the full moon before quickly fizzling out. It is the fourth fireball reported in the state over the past five days.

Early estimates, based on data from Arizona-based NASA sky cameras, place it at around 800 pounds and 25 inches, and point to an asteroid and not comet debris.

Mike Hankey with the AMS said only a few dozen events have boasted so many sightings since they started tracking them in 2010.

"We had over 100 reports with this Arizona one, and 11 of those reports had sound associated with them. The other cool thing is, when you look at the sound reports, they're all clustered in the same place."

That means that the object made it low enough into the atmosphere to make sound and possibly to scatter meteorites — likely somewhere south of Flagstaff.

The event was caught on Phoenix's CityCam in downtown Phoenix.

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Nicholas Gerbis was a senior field correspondent for KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk from 2016 to 2024.