A home security camera was able to capture a massive meteor fireball that appeared to be as big and as bright as a full moon streaking across the sky. According to several eyewitnesses, the meteor that hit Earth and entered the atmosphere produced a bright flash after exploding mid-air.
Reports about the fireball incident were filed through the American Meteor Society (AMS). The organization was able to collect a total of 81 reports from different eyewitnesses across the U.S.
Eyewitness Reports Of Meteor Sighting
According to the AMS, the fireball event occurred on May 21 at 11:45 p.m. PDT to 12:45 a.m. PDT, or May 22 at 2:45 a.m. EDT to 3:45 a.m. EDT. Based on the reports, the incident was spotted by residents from different states across the country including Washington, Idaho and Montana. A couple of eyewitnesses from Canada also saw the fireball.
According to some of the eyewitnesses, such as Lane G. and Jonathan C. from Spokane, Washington, the fireball exploded after going through Earth's atmosphere. As indicated in their reports, the cosmic object produced a bright flash before disappearing in the sky.
Video Of Fireball Event
Several videos submitted by eyewitnesses showed the fireball as it brightly streaked across the sky before vanishing. In most of the videos, the fiery object almost turned night into day due to its brightness.
One of the videos, which was submitted by an eyewitness named Jason K., was captured using a home security camera. Based on the video, the bright flash produced by the fireball made the object look massive. It made the fiery meteor almost look like a bright full moon in the sky.
Fireball's Terminal Flash
Based on the videos and reports submitted by eyewitnesses, the unusual brightness of the fireball object was most likely caused by its terminal flash. According to the AMS, terminal flashes are often produced by a type of fireball known as a bolide after it explodes in the sky.
"A fireball is another term for a very bright meteor, generally brighter than magnitude -4, which is about the same magnitude of the planet Venus in the morning or evening sky," the AMS explained. "A bolide is a special type of fireball which explodes in a bright terminal flash at its end, often with visible fragmentation."