Video captures stunning view of fireball blazing through night sky
An incredibly bright meteor was spotted soaring across the dark, clear sky in at least 13 states early Thursday night.
A sky camera from a local National Weather Service office shows a meteor darting over downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on the night of Dec. 1.
Hundreds of people looking up at the night sky on Thursday evening might have caught a glimpse of a fiery object blazing overhead.
The streaking fireball turned out to be a meteor that was observed in 13 states in the eastern United States and in Ontario, Canada, according to the American Meteor Society (AMS), which keeps a detailed listing of fireball reports.
A sky camera from a National Weather Service forecaster in Pittsburgh captured the meteor darting across the city skyline around 7:30 p.m. EST. As of Friday, the AMS said it had received more than 840 unconfirmed reports from Tennessee and Ohio, Pennsylvania to Virginia and North Carolina and at least six videos that captured the amazing fireball.
The organization called it the second most-reported “fireball meteor” sighting this year out of the 450-plus reported thus far to the AMS, mainly due to its size and duration.
“The angle that it’s entering the Earth’s atmosphere at – it’s a shallow angle so it lasted much longer than a typical meteor would, at least twice as long,” Mike Hankey, an amateur astronomer and meteor observer with the AMS, told CTV in Ontario, "but it also traveled over a longer track of land so more people had an opportunity to see it.”
Some observers claimed to have seen the fireball for as long as 20 seconds, according to the AMS, much longer than a typical meteor which is only visible for two or three seconds.
Hankey added that the clear weather in the Midwest and eastern U.S. Thursday night provided for an unobstructed, stunning view of the meteor burning bright. “People… probably from 500 to 600 miles on either side of this fireball were able to see it,” he explained.
Social media started lighting up on its own with people posting videos from their home security cameras:
Meteors are basically meteoroids or "space rocks" -- objects in space that range in size from dust grains to small pebbles -- that have entered the Earth’s atmosphere or that of another planet at high speed and burn up, according to NASA.
Want next-level safety, ad-free? Unlock advanced, hyperlocal severe weather alerts when you subscribe to Premium+ on the AccuWeather app.AccuWeather Alerts™ are prompted by our expert meteorologists who monitor and analyze dangerous weather risks 24/7 to keep you and your family safer.Report a Typo
Top StoriesMore Stories