The American Meteor Society (AMS) says it’s received over 340 reports so far of a bright fireball over Arizona, early in the morning of June 2, 2016. The bright meteor – a small asteroid, apparently – sizzled through Earth’s atmosphere at around 3:57 a.m. MST (10:57 UTC). Most people reporting the event were in Arizona, but AMS says that witnesses viewed it from Utah, New Mexico, California, Texas and Nevada as well.
NASA said that the June 2, 2016 meteor over Arizona was a small asteroid:
Based on the latest data, a small asteroid estimated at 5 feet (1-2 meters) in diameter – with a mass of a few tons and a kinetic energy of approximately half a kiloton – entered Earth’s atmosphere above Arizona just before 4 a.m. local (MST) time. NASA estimates that the asteroid was moving at about 40,200 miles per hour (64,700 km per hour).
— Daniel Clark (@dlclark12news) June 2, 2016
The video below is a compilation of sightings of the June 2 fireball (profanity alert at around 00:25 seconds).
Eliot Herman in Tucson runs an automatic meteor camera. The sequence of photos below shows before, during and after the meteor:
Here’s NASA’s meteor camera video of the event:
Despite the early hour, many apparently saw the meteor, and many more saw the smoke trail it apparently left behind.
In the northeastern sky, here's the trail from what seemed to be a meteor. pic.twitter.com/tQIaOpBGLI
— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) June 2, 2016
Fireballs – bright meteors – are common, if you consider Earth as a whole. We hear reports of them every few days, from somewhere. But seeing one over your location is special!
Bottom line: Arizona meteor (fireball), June 2, 2016, photos and video.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.