WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- From Southern Ontario in Canada up to Virginia in the US, people witnessed on Wednesday afternoon a fireball falling down from the sky followed by a sonic boom.
- The meteor produced a flashing light as it exploded in the sky, yielding a sonic boom sound.
- Observers described the fireball with a train and bright colors.
On Wednesday afternoon, people across southern Ontario down to Virginia in the US saw a fireball coming down from the sky and heard a sonic boom, according to the American Meteor Society’s Robert Lunsford in Geneseo, New York. The organization said that the noontime boom came from a disintegrating meteor.
In his interview with CBS affiliate WTVH, Lunsford said that the approximate size of the fireball could be a small car, with a movement of 10 miles per second. The meteor yielded a bright light when it made an explosion-like act as it shattered in the sky, about 22 miles above western New York. The CN Tower in Toronto was able to capture the massive flash of light.
On the Society’s website, an observer in western New York said that the fireball was bright white with shades of yellow. Another observer from Hagerstown, Maryland reported a red and orange colored fireball, a train with smoke. One witness in Welland, Ontario, reported a long, bright green train.
“Sunny day so it looked like a gold metallic flash against the blue sky,” according to one report from Winchester, Virginia.
“Astonishing, amazing, still get goosebumps talking about it,” wrote another observer from Port Dover, Ontario. “The train was flaming white, wide and long, no smoke.”
A member of the Meteor Physics Group at the Western University in London, Ontario, Margaret Campbell shared her thoughts about the phenomena: “We tend to notice fireballs more at night because they stand out better, but it’s not terribly unusual for very bright ones to be noticed during the day. It happens several times a year over populated areas.”
The Society said that the fireball concluded its course around the Cayuga Lake in New York per NASA’s tracking.
The flashing meteor follows days after a similar incident happened in Japan where a fireball was caught on video while falling down from the sky.
Local authorities in central New York received emergency calls about the boom. Lunsford said that the meteor disintegration likely occured in Syracuse since bulk of reports came in that area.
Over 150 reports of the fireball were witnessed in seven states a day earlier, the Society said. Aside from New York and Ontario, which largely saw the event, it was also witnessed in Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Source: CBS News