NEW YORK, March 23. – A meteor bright enough to be classified as a “fireball” lit up the sky in the eastern United States and Canada during the night of Friday, providing a spectacular view, said American Meteor Society.
The company verified over 300 sightings from Ontario and Quebec in Canada to the southern United States, and another 100 are being reviewed more, said Mike Hankey, an observer of the American Meteor Society.
“This has been the clearest fireball view seen over much of the eastern United States,” said Robert Lunsford, society coordinator.
“The firball was seen about 8 pm (local time) and lasted for about five seconds, when many people saw it,” said Lunsford.
The company described the fireball as a meteor brighter than Venus, and Lunsford said may be even brighter than the Sun, as was the case when a meteorite exploded over Russia on 15 February.
Meteorites are small particles of the solar system that burn on contact with the atmosphere.
Several thousand meteors of fireball magnitude occur every day, most of which are not seen to take place over the ocean or daylight, says the company on its website.
“At first I thought the fireball was a plane flying low,” said a witness of West Chester, Pennsylvania, whose comments were recorded by the company.
Many witnesses saw the brightest meteor they had ever seen. “I still cannot believe it,” said another of Boonsboro, Maryland.
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