USA Today NetworkBlaine McCormick and Anne Ryman, The Arizona Republic
Published 7:57 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2017
Video taken from the dashboard digicam of Jonah Hirsch exhibits a fireballstreaking throughout the Phoenix skyline round eight:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
A brilliant flash believed to be a meteor was captured by way of town of Phoenix’s cameras round eight:30 p.m. Nov. 14, 2017.(Photo: Phoenix)
PHOENIX — Astronomers say the brilliant mild that streaked throughout the night time sky Tuesday was “almost certainly” a meteor.
The metropolis of Phoenix captured the illumination on one in all its statement cameras and posted it to Twitter.
In the video, a big, glowing bulb seems in the top-right body after which fades out in three seconds. A smaller mild can be seen within the decrease portion of the body, off within the horizon.
It occurred round eight:30 p.m. MT.
The American Meteor Society acquired 110 fireball reviews from Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah on Tuesday.
More: Why do taking pictures stars look so near you?
More: Meteor Crater: Arizona’s different large gap within the floor
“Given the speed and everything, this was almost certainly a meteor rather than a piece of space junk,” stated Laurence Garvie, curator of Arizona State University’s Center for Meteorite Studies.
Specifically, the meteor was a “bolide” — a kind of fireball that explodes in a brilliant terminal flash, in line with the American Meteor Society.
“This thing wasn’t huge. I’m going to guess about 5 feet across. It broke up quite quickly,” Garvie stated.
Video from Phoenix City Hall exhibits a brilliant mild flashing throughout the Phoenix skyline. Video credit score: City of Phoenix
Nick Moskovitz, an astronomer with the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, agreed that the meteor was fairly small, regardless of the immense glow.
“The meteor is probably larger than a marble and smaller than a human,” Moskovitz stated. “Around a football size.”
The meteor is believed to have left particles between Flagstaff and Phoenix east of Interstate 17, Moskovitz stated.
Prepare for loads of taking pictures stars within the night time sky throughout the Leonid meteor bathe. They will seem to come back from the constellation Leo the Lion within the east. And this 12 months, it coincides with a New Moon.
How you’ll be able to see meteors
Garvie stated the meteor wasn’t badociated to the Leonids meteor bathe, an annual occasion that peaks this 12 months on Friday night time.
“It’s just coincidental,” he stated, including that meteors noticed throughout showers are tiny by comparability, the scale of a grain of sand.
A moonless sky Friday ought to make for good viewing of the Leonids meteor bathe this 12 months. But it is not an particularly plentiful bathe. NASA predicts not more than 10 meteors an hour, and a few shall be faint, so you will not have the ability to see all of them.
Some viewing ideas from astronomers at ASU and the University of Arizona:
• You needn’t focus your eyes on one particular space — meteors happen all through the sky.
• Shower exercise is the best after midnight.
• Get away from metropolis lights, when you can. If you’ll be able to’t depart town, discover the darkest spot in your yard away from the glare of street- and home lights.
• You do not want binoculars or a telescope. Using these gadgets can truly scale back the variety of meteors you see as a result of they concentrate on solely a part of the sky.
• Be affected person. Plan to spend a minimum of an hour outdoors if you wish to spot meteors.
Follow Blaine McCormick and Anne Ryman on Twitter: @blaine_mc8 and @anneryman
Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2ijRM5X