Reports Report 31ue (Event 31-2019)

This report has been linked to the following event: Event 31-2019
NameNC G
Experience Level2/5
RemarksI was driving down Trade Road, and about level with the gymnastics center on what's probably the peak height of that road, when I saw the fireball. (I was probably driving around 30-35 mph and I slowed down when I saw it). It entered the sky in front of me, slightly to my left, I would say slightly to the right of the DMV building that sits at the bottom of the hill. It had almost the same trajectory the entire time, but seemed to travel further away from me, towards my right - but diagonally away from me, further toward the horizon. From my view point, I would say it had no arc to its trajectory, and a very fractional dip from being slightly higher on entry, to the point at which it disappeared. It was about the same intensity as Venus that morning, (the planets were hugely bright that morning, and the skies superbly clear). It was traveling fast, and got faster and brighter and suddenly bigger (I would say at least a third bigger), until it looked like an explosion of light happened all over it's already very bright star-like quality. It was like some serious after burners came on, causing it to slow down, and grind to what looked like a halt. At that point I wondered if it was plane exploding and surmised it may be headed near Chesterfield airport, though it seemed far too big and bright for a plane of course. I could tell something was still moving after the explosion, it burned for a fraction of a second more, then I thought I could see a really faint almost yellow tinge, possibly a small shape. I strained my neck to keep it in view, as I got near the curve at the end of Trade Road that winds down to the DMV, expecting to possibly see an object drop vertically out of the sky. But suddenly it just disappeared, as though nothing had ever been there. It disappeared before I went all the way down the hill and round that curve. So I just about had time to make out that it had disappeared, before I rounded that corner. It was brilliantly bright at its peak, and about 6-7 (?) times the size of Venus that morning, if not more. So it wasn't as bright as the sun, in that one could look a it, but it was very intense. (My location observing Venus that day was from the Gatewood neighborhood in VA 23236 area off Reams Road).
AddressRichmond, VA
Latitude37° 29' 59.75'' N (37.5°)
Longitude 77° 35' 41.97'' W (-77.59°)
Time and Duration
Local Date & Time2019-01-09 06:34 EST
UT Date & Time2019-01-09 11:34 UT
Moving directionFrom up left to down right
Descent Angle94°
Facing azimuth82.79°
First azimuth87.21°
First elevation38°
Last azimuth99.12°
Last elevation40°
Brightness and color
Stellar Magnitude-21
Concurrent Sound
Delayed Sound
Persistent train
Terminal flash
RemarksThe whole object got even larger and brighter all over than it had been, looked like explosions all over or seriously after-burners all over as though it was grinding to a sudden halt or burning on entry