If you happened to see an enormous burst of light in the night sky early this morning somewhere in the northeast, you are not alone, as hundreds of people have reported seeing what is being reported as a huge fireball.
According to the American Meteor Society, the fireball blazed across the sky around 12:50 AM EST (4:50 GMT), and was bright enough to be seen for hundreds of miles. More than 330 sightings have been reported—primarily from Maine, but also from the rest of New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Canada (Toronto, Ontario, and Québec, to be precise).
It was apparently quite a sight to behold.
“The giant ball of fire was extremely close going down below the treed horizon. I waited a minute because I thought I’ll see fire erupting beyond the end of the lake but nothing…” reported Julian K from Ontario, according to the AMS.
“There was a 3-5 min delay from the time I saw it to the boom I heard and felt , very loud and shook the home , unlike anything I have ever experienced before,” wrote Craig C., from Canton, Maine.
Others joked about where it came from…and what came with it.
Of course, the explanation is a bit simpler than alien tech; it is most likely a fireball, which is the term for a very bright meteor.
Fireballs, incidentally, are more common than you would think.
“Debris from space hits Earth all the time,” Mike Hankey, the operations manager of the AMS, told CNN. “The bigger the debris, the bigger the flash of light.”
According to Hankey, the fireball from last night was probably the result of something the size of a car—perhaps a piece of an asteroid.
“These are totally harmless events and they happen every day on the planet,” said Hankey. “But for an individual to see something like this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing – just the odds of you being the in the right place at the right time.”
If you were lucky enough to see the fireball, please report it here.
Here’s a compilation video of footage of the fireball:
Image credit: American Meteor Society