Fireball spotted over region last night [video]

    If you saw a vivid object race across sky shortly after 10:30 p.m. yesterday, you’re not alone.

    More than 500 spotters reported seeing a fireball in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Michigan, West Virginia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Québec and Ontario in Canada, according to a release from the American Meteor Society. 

    The fireball, another term for a very bright meteor, reportedly streaked from south to north. 

    It was so bright that some called emergency services in Toronto to report a plane crashing into the harbor, the AMS release said. 

    An AMS “heat map” showed a cluster of spotters along the I-95 corridor in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and to the west.

    The organization says “several thousand” fireballs occur each day, but they are rarely seen.

    “The vast majority of these, however, occur over the oceans and uninhabited regions, and a good many are masked by daylight. Those that occur at night also stand little chance of being detected due to the relatively low numbers of persons out to notice them,” a fireball FAQ from AMS notes. 

    Read more about fireballs here

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.