Hundreds of people along northeastern US were fortunate enough to see an “incredible” fireball light up the night sky. The fireball, which stemmed from outer space, produced stunning blue and red colours as it entered Earth’s atmosphere.
Hundreds of people reported the sighting to the International Meteor Organisation (IMO), with some concerned there was an aviation disaster above their heads.
John reported to the IMO: “Checked the news when I got home, to me I thought I just saw a meteor or a plane exploding, was very concerned.”
Others however knew the object to be a meteor entering the Earth’s atmosphere, and were mesmerised by the sight.
Lindsay said: “Probably the coolest thing I’ve seen! Nothing like the typical shooting star.”
Fireball video: Meteor explosion over east US ‘I thought a plane exploded’
Hundreds of people saw the fireball
Jason added: “First time I’ve seen anything like that. Very cool, hoping others saw it. “
Tiffany said: “It was the most incredible thing I’ve seen!”
Michael stated: “This was a bright white flash after which I looked up to see a glowing orange ball of light moving at a decent rate of speed with a snaking smoke trail behind it.
“The glowing ball and smoke trail disappeared within 30 seconds.”
Where people saw the fireball
Kody added: “Saw a flash of light and looked up and saw the fireball.
“It started blue and quickly faded to red then orange And then went away.
“A smoke trail was left behind it for a few seconds and then it also dissipated. It’s hard to say how long the smoke trail was besides being 3-4 times the size of the fireball itself.”
Fireballs happen when space rocks hit the atmosphere.
Air seeps into the pores of the space rock, pushing it apart and causing it to explode.
Asteroids, meteors and comets
The IMO said: “Fireballs are meteors that appear brighter than normal.
“Due to the velocity at which they strike the Earth’s atmosphere, fragments larger than one millimetre have the capability to produce a bright flash as they streak through the heavens above.
“These bright meteors are what we call fireballs and they often strike fear and awe for those who witness them.”
Perhaps the most famous fireball struck over Chelyabinsk in 2013.
The explosion, caused by a 20 metre meteor, was so powerful that is smashed windows across the city and injured more than 1000 people.