You can send a fireball observation by filling out this form. Fireballs are rare, bright meteors that can lead to a meteorite fall.

Most fireballs last only about 1-5 seconds. If the phenomenon lasted longer than 20 seconds, it most likely wasn't a fireball.

Observations are investigated by Finnish Fireball Network in co-operation with the University of Helsinki and Finland's Natural Resources Institute.

Unidentified objects with long-lasting (more than 20 sec) or curly flight paths are not part of this observation program. These kinds of phenomena are often linked to planes or military exercises. Also planes' contrails can sometimes be brightly illuminated by a rising/setting Sun.

Observation start

When did you see or photograph this phenomenon?

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    Please enter here the date and time when you first saw the phenomenon in the sky. The date can also be chosen from the calendar icon next to this. The date and time should be given according to the local time of the observation location.

    If you are not sure of the time you saw the phenomenon, we ask you to give us the time you think is the most likely, meaning your so called best guess. In this case, we would like you to tell more about the uncertainty surrounding the time in the free-form text -field meaning the observation strory.

    If your observation is about a celestial body taken with long exposure, which may have been even been exposed on several different nights, please give us the latest time of exposure.

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    Observation starts

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Observation location

Where were you when you observerd the phenomenon?

  • Please choose your observation site
    by clicking the right location on the map.


    When you click the map with your mouse, the system will automatically pick the coordinates of the place you have chosen and on land usually also the name of the place in question. 

    If your first click of the map hit the wrong place, you can move the location marker by clicking the map again. Zooming in on the map with the slider in the left-hand corner of the map or the mouse scroll wheel helps with making the placing more accurate.

    If for some reason you are not willing to give us your observation location too precisely, you can place the observation location´s icon on the map for example in the center of the nearest small populated area. Normally an accuracy of 1-3 kilometers is enough to inform about the observation place. 

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    We hope our users will first give us the observation location within 1-3 kilometers of accuracy, if possible, by clicking the right spot on the map. In this case, the observation location will automatically appear below within the accuracy of the municipality, if the observation was made on Finnish grounds.

    Google maps won´t recognize all foreign observation locations nor observations made at sea. In these cases we would like for you to type the observation location here. 

    You can also, instead of clicking the map directly, type out the observation location´s name within the municipality´s accuracy in the ""City/municipality"" -box. In that case, the system will place your observation in a random place in the center of the municipality in question. Regarding multiple observations, this is also a good enough precision.

    If you don´t know, which municipality your observation was made in, like for example, you were in a moving vehicle, we would like you to describe the location in free form. For example ""Between Kouvola and Mikkeli"" or ""In an airplane above the Baltic sea"".

    If you marked your location on the map, this information will be filled in automatically

Contact info
  • + Add an observer info

    You can also mention other observers of your observation, if they are in the same observation location, have agreed to a shared observation and you announce their real names and email addresses.Only you as the main observer have the right to edit the observation and only you hold the copyright of the possible photos or drawn illustrations.

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    Please give your actual name in the form of your first and last name. Observations can´t be accepted if only initials or an incomplete name are given (e.g. K. Virtanen). If you don´t want your name to be visible on the internet in relation to your observation, you can remove the checkmark from the spot asking this. The spot is displayed on the next line.

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    Your aforementioned name will not be visible on the internet in relation to your observation and possible images, if you remove the checkmark here. If you remove the checkmark, on the observation´s name -field online will read ""Anynomous"". In that case your identity will remain only in Ursa´s and the phenomenon´s researchers´ knowledge. 

    Although we hope, that as many observer as possible allows their name to be displayed in relation to their observation and possible images. This way we can abide by the tradition of scientific observation which is seen as more important.

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    The email address should be in a working basic form without unnecessary texts, spaces or brackets. For example:

    If you want to later fill in, fix something about or completely delete your observation, it is possible using the editing link. The editing link will be sent to the email address you have given us. Without a working email address the link won´t arrive to you.

  • Why do we ask for contact information?


    Your contact information will not be publicly visible nor will it be given away for commercial purposes.

    For research purposes: in case of especially valuable observations, it is important, that researchers or Ursa can contact the observer to ask more details or pictures or to thank the observer for the valuable input.

    You can later search for your observations using your own email address in system´s search bar. It is easier to search for observations by using your email address instead of you name, because some observers may share the same name with you.   

    Many observers have wished for an option to later modify their observations. This is possible only by using the editing link sent to the email address you gave us. Without a working email address the link won´t reach you. 

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    Move the mouse cursor over the image and use it to turn the fireball. Then the image closest corresponds to the view you saw, click the image.

    Move the mouse cursor over the image and use it to turn the fireball. Then the image closest corresponds to the view you saw, click the image.

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    Select the option corresponding the duration of the fireball you saw. The most fireballs last only few seconds.

    If the phenomenon lasted clearly over 20 seconds, it was more likely some other phenomenon. Fireballs lasting over 20 seconds are very rare and fireballs lasting over half a minute are even rarer.

    One of the most common source of false fireball reports are brightly lit airplane contrails. This happens especially often during the winter time when sun is low during morning or evening twilight time. Lots of observations have been made on slowly moving "fireballs" which last over 20 seconds or even minutes. These are usually short living contrails trailing an airplane lit by sunlight.

    This can happen during twilight time even after the Sun has set in observer's location. Also some military airplanes may produce fireball-like light phenomena when anti-missile flares are used during a training.

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    Select the manner how the fireball disappeared.

    For researchers it is important to know where and how the fireball ended its luminous flight. This will be calculated by using visual observations with possible photos or videos from different locations and directions. The way the fireball disappeared may also hint if the fireball could drop meteorites.

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    Here you can type the name of the astronomical association which you are a member of. If you belong to more than one association, we ask you to give us the name of the association which is the most important to you havaintotoiminnassa.  

    The largest astronomical association in Finland, The astronomical association Ursa ry with its good 15 000 members is divided into area specific teams here. The teams are ""Ursa (Southern Finland)"", ""Ursa (Helsinki)"", ""Ursa (Eastern Finland)"", ""Ursa (Western Finland)"" and ""Ursa (Northern Finland)"". The Oulu and Lapland provinces belong to the Northern Finland team´s area. All municipalities in the metropolitan area, except Helsinki, are also part of the Southern Finland team´s area.      

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    A fireball at night, brighter than the Venus

    Tulipallo yöllä, Venusta kirkkaampi


    A fireball at night, as bright as a crescent moon

    Tulipallo yöllä, kuin puolikuu


    A fireball at night, as bright as a full moon

    Tulipallo yöllä, kuin täysikuu


    A fireball at night, brighter than a full moon

    Tulipallo yöllä, täysikuuta kirkkaampi


    A fireball at night, as bright as the Sun

    Tulipallo yöllä, kuin Aurinko


    A fireball in a twilight sky

    Tulipallo hämärätaivaalla


    A fireball in a daytime sky

    Tulipallo päivätaivaalla


  • Do not answer if you are unsure about the compass direction.


    In which cardinal or intercardinal direction the fireball was when it disappeared?

    To estimate this right is often difficult. It is usual that observers in the same area may give directions which vary one or even two cardinal directions. If you are uncertain about the direction do not answer.

    Your estimation will be better if you have a possibility to visit the observation location with a compass and a map. Try to remember the exact spot where you were when you saw the fireball and in which direction it disappeared.

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    At what elevation from the horizon the fireball disappeared?

    This is very difficult to estimate correctly. Estimation will be more reliable if you can visit the observation site again. When you get there rise your hand and point the location where you think the fireball disappeared. Now estimate what elevation angle your hand is pointing between the horizon and the zenith.

  • Select one option only if you heard sound after a delay or at the same time with the fireball. The most of fireballs are not accompanied with sound phenomena.


    Did you hear any kind of sound while the fireball was visible or right after it? Was there a sonic boom or thunder like noise after the fireball disappeared? Note that there may be even few minutes delay between the fireball disappearing and the first sounds. If you are sure that you heard a sound related to the fireball, select how it sounded.

    It is important that you describe the sound and its time delay in your observation story. How long it took to hear the sound after the fireball was disappeared and how long it lasted?

  • We hope that you will tell about seeing the phenomenon in free form. If you are busy, even a one or two sentence long description of the phenomenon will help to understand, what you saw. (In case you want to input technical information, they have their own place)


    Here you can tell in free form about the phenomenon and seeing it. You have a room of 1200 characters for that. For example how you spotted the phenomenon? How did it look like? (etc).

    If you are not already familiar with celestial bodies/atmospheric phenomena, please try to describe the phenomenon diversely.  

    In case you are a specialist in the field we hope you will write in a way that the observation story is at least for the most part comprehensible to new people interested about the subject. It is recommended to avoid terms, slang and abbreviations that only few can understand.  

    If you decide to write an observation story with at least a few sentences of length here and attach at least one image to your observation, the observation will be published on the observation system´s Images and stories page.

    Please use English when writing into this field. If you want to use some other language, select the alternative from the site banner.

    characters left.

Additional information

  • Estimate the brightness, if it is meaningful to this target.


    The brightness estimation is essential, especially for targets with varying brightness.  But if you do not see the brightness estimation meaningful, it is not necessary to do it.

    The brightness is given as a magnitude value. You can compare the brightness of the target to the magnitudes of the known stars.

    Note, that the brightness of surface object can not be compared to the point source, but comparison star have to defocus as a spot sized of surface target.

You can describe your observation equipment or other technical details here.


If you want to, you can specify the observation equipmet or  phototechnical/processing information here. For that, you have 1200 characters at your disposal.

A telescope description can be stated for example like this: 127 mm reflecting telescope of 1300 mm focal length.

The photo information can be stated for example like this: Camera brand, 50 mm, f/2,8, ISO 100.

  • You can attach 1-8 images or videos of the phenomenon (jpg, gif, png or mp4). The system will not receive files containing more than 50 megabytes. We hope, that you favor images or videos with no more than 15 Mb.


    You can attach at most 8 images. We hope you will attach several images only if they showcase the different sides or stages of the phenomenon or otherwise fulfill eachother. If your images are practically fully identical, we ask you to only attach the best photo to your observation.

    The system automatically shows large images in a size where the longest side of the image (either horizontal or vertical) is 1000 pixels long.  

    The size limit of files is 50 megabytes. Taivaanvahti will not accept larger images. It is recommended to favor pictures that are at most the size of 15 Mb.

    The allowed image file formats are jpg, jpeg, gif ja png. The system will not accept for example tif images or pdf files.

  • Main image

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    By crossing this off you´re asking the administration´s experts to inspect the observation´s phenomenon identifications particularly carefully and/or critically before the observation is published.

    In case something problematic is detected regarding the identifications, the observation won´t be published before the administration has fixed the identifications and/or you have been contacted.   

By sending in this observation I confirm, that I've read and understood the the observation system's privacy policy.
Fields marked with star (*) must be given before sending in the information.