On Wednesday morning, many social media users in the East Coast in and up and down Pittsburgh say they saw a bright glow of light and a streak in the sky.
Light flashed before 6:30 p.m. A truck driver along I-76 in Pennsylvania was able to capture video of the flash from his dashcam.
The American Meteor Society, a nonprofit group, said it received more than 200 reports of a bright fireball over eastern Ohio. Robert Lunsford, a society official, said the fireball was most likely a random meteorite not associated with any known meteor shower.
Lansford said that it only takes one object to make it as bright as the shape of a softball, as the full moon. The item was probably a bit larger, Lunford said, but more analysis would be needed to determine its size.
I am watching the news of a fireball that burns the sky around 6:25 in the morning. Lauren Burrell was walking out of her dog with her phone throwing these pictures. If you have any photos you’d like to share, send them to Chime: https://t.co/7N4kouxkd9 pic.twitter.com/FYIkvojhMX
– Jeff Okslein (@ JeffWTOV9) September 30, 2020
KDKA spoke to a science writer who reported that the fireball was a meteor falling towards the Earth. While meteors are not rare, seeing one, especially as it is bright, often does not happen.
“We actually saw an extraordinary meteor, a piece of debris from outer space, either rock or metal,” said science writer Ralph Crewe.
Crewe says that the speed of the meteor causes it to heat up so quickly, and thus being able to see large fireballs is rare.
“They are actually very frequent but usually not in more populated areas. The majority of the Earth is the sea, so we are lucky to be able to see one like this,” he told Lisa Washington of KDKA.
Receiving reports of a fantastic shooting star around 6:25 in the morning!
If confirmed, this meteor may be a rare FIREBALL with a colored burning blue or red tail.
Picture from American Meteor Society of a fireball. (Report here: https://t.co/Na1PaSNI6y)
Anyone see this? pic.twitter.com/u7syzy0INj
– Chris Vickers (@ChrisWTOL) September 30, 2020
The American Meteor Society said preliminary reports suggest that the fireball traveled from southeast to northwest and ended its flight over north Benton, Ohio – about 77 miles from Pittsburgh.
The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh said it was aware of the reports but had no information.
Officials at the University of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Observatory did not immediately comment.
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