A meteor whose apparent magnitude exceeds that of the planet Venus (magnitude −5 or brighter). Fireballs are comparatively rare, perhaps fewer than one per thousand meteors. During major annual meteor showers such as the Perseids or Geminids considerable numbers of fireballs may be seen. Fireballs are also associated with the atmospheric entry of large incoming bodies, which may result in meteorite falls. A fragmenting fireball with audible sound is termed a bolide.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Meteorology and Climatology.