Something was seen in the sky, but it wasn’t what people were looking for. On a warm and clear November 3 evening, many were already perched outside and looking up with anticipation of the northern lights during a strong solar storm. The aurora was not seen locally, but a fireball was. In fact the American Meteor Society received 79 reports of a fireball, mostly from metro New York and New England. But a handful came from as far south as Maryland.
What is a fireball? These meteors can be small rocks or space debris that burns up in Earth’s atmosphere as it falls from space or out of orbit. Earth itself is moving at 67,000 mph through space, and sometimes it is like a bug hitting the windshield of a car. But speeds of debris through our atmosphere can range from 25,000 mph to 160,000 mph based on size and the objects original entrance angle. At that velocity, bumping into particle of air and dust cause so much friction, the resulting heat leads to burning. Usually these object burn themselves out before hitting the ground. If it hit the ground, it would be called a meteorite.
Sorting through the reports for an exact time since some report hours later and don’t log when it occurred properly. But the average seems to fall between 8:05 PM and 8:10 PM. That’s when the burning streak was seen in the sky. However one person messaged me on Facebook saying they saw it closer to 9:30 PM. With respect to the Mid Atlantic, based on the reports it would have been to the northeast and low in the sky. Do you remember when it seemed like these fireballs were occurring almost on schedule once a month. That was last fall. Check out the report links, photos, and videos below:
Also See: Aurora Nov 3 Photos And Update
Closer Look At Reports From Mid Atlantic
Related Fireball Links
Spotting Events in 2014
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