Meteor Streaks Across Portland Area Skies

I had just reached the top of a hill as I drove to meet my wife and kids for dinner last night.

Suddenly–it caught my eye.

A bright white meteor streaking, streaking, streaking across the southern sky over the Portland-Vancouver metro area.

I only saw it for about three seconds and then it vanished behind a tree. And at first I was thinking, ‘Wow a meteor.’ Then I thought, ‘Nooo, that must’ve been a plane. Am I seeing things?’

I checked twitter. Nothing.

But then the calls started coming into the newsroom and they kept coming. “I live in West Linn and it looked red,” and many other calls like that. It most likely was a meteor–and you can see here in this graphic that it was probably somewhere between the size of a grain of sand and a pebble. It was moving at least 25,000 mph — and we have several of these each hour according to the American Meteor Society. Even more during the hours before sunrise.

But between fog, stoplights, streetlights, and clouds–the list goes on–we often miss them.

I’m glad I got to see this one. And thanks to those of you who called and emailed about the fact you saw it, too. Now I know I was not imagining things!


  1. Barb says

    I saw it too. I had the same questioning afterward and couldn’t find anything online either. Glad to know I wasn’t seeing things! pretty cool!

  2. says

    What I seen was around 10:01 until about 10:11. I was watching portlandia, the metal dj skit was on. We live on 5th fl. On se 39th. Looking west toward ohsu, there appeared to be a lunar eclipse.. I was like “are you seeing this”.. it looked like the lower center to right side of a moon (orange in color) with a shadow over..I didn’t see or hear anything in media of eclipse, but I could pay attention to portlandia anymore and kept my eyes on the ??? The, what appeared to be shadow, moved over the orange glow quickly. Too quick for be an eclipse. I began testing friends asking them to look at they’re moon. One friend in Kirkland. One in Astoria and another in Fairview. No one noticed anything.. when I looked again to see the shadow had encompassed the glow and disappeared. I called my bestie and we spoke for about an hour both looking towards the west.. nothing ever happened, and we came to the conclusion it was not an eclipse, due to moons phase, but assumed something to do with solar flares. Nothing was on twitter, news channels, internet.. a nasa site had said yesterday jan27,2012 around 5:2? Est was the biggest solar flare to date.. I figured it had something to do with this. Either way it was awesome!!! I’ve seen northern lights while living on Oscar Island in the sound and a huge white/blue meteor fall over OHSU years ago.. but this was something I would compare to that.. very thankful to see some natural beauty/ awesomeness!!! Thanks for letting me share;)

  3. arie says

    I saw it too Bruce! THought I was crazy. I saw it in Wilsonville, in the southern sky, moving very fast from west to east. Looked like it was coming down…
    I sort off expected a loud boom. Fastest thing I have ever witnessed!

    thanks for your confirmation.

  4. Meg says

    My 26 yr. old daughter and I were driving back from the beach, maybe 10 miles before McMinnville. Suddenly, as both of us witnessed it, my normally reserved daughter yelled ‘SHOOTING STAR!!’. It was magical, and I feel very special to have seen it! Since it was the middle of nowhere, complete darkness except this spectacular display of long white tail and enormous red fireball at the forefront. I’ve replayed this in my mind many many times since.

  5. Elizabeth says

    I saw two meteors going east to west on May 15 2013. They did appear red. The second one faded out at 12:22 & the first one faded out at 12:16.

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