Huge fireball over Western Germany observed tonight (Nov 14, ~16h50 UT) from Germany, Eastern France, Italy and Switzerland. More than 200 reports received in 3 hours! If you observed, recorded, or photographed it, please report! Thanks in advance!https://t.co/obS4rmFxCvpic.twitter.com/YrvGElk6PO
— IMO Meteor Org. (@IMOmeteors) November 14, 2017
The International Meteor Organization (IMO) received around 1,450 reports of sightings of the unidentified flying object from the public, with the most vivid coming over the German provinces of Bayern and Baden-Württemberg and the French region of Grand Est. Those who spotted the fireball from the ground posted pictures to social media using the hashtag #Sternschnuppe, meaning “shooting star.”
— Feuerwehr Höchen (@FWHoechen) 14 November 2017
An analysis of the object by former IMO president Dr Jürgen Rendtel of the Leibniz-Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam linked the event to the forthcoming Taurid Meteor Shower, which occurs every three years. The shower brings remnants of the comets Concke and 2004 TG10 into the Earth’s atmosphere, where they can burn up in bright streaks.
A spokesman for German air traffic control told Stuttgarter-Zeitung: “We can only say that it was not an aircraft.”
Other fireballs have been spotted over Bordeaux in France and the US state of Arizona but they have been ruled as unrelated to the Taurid event due to their steep trajectory. Video of the Arizona event has, too, been posted online.