Friday, March 22, 2013

FIRE IN THE SKY: Major Solar System Disturbance - Large, Vibrant Green Fireball Seen Flying Across Northeast United States!

March 22, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Reports are flying in of a fireball that streaked across the sky this evening over the Capital Region and several other northeast and mid-Atlantic cities. I saw it with my very own eyes in Latham, New York at around 7:53 p.m. in the southwest sky, heading south or southeast. The fireball was bright and had a fairly long green tail which lasted for a few seconds, like a shooting star or a large streaking meteor. Facebook and Twitter was immediately buzzing with reports of the sighting from New York to Washington DC and Virginia.

On Friday night around 8 p.m. EST, Twitter lit up with multiple accounts of a bright object, possibly a meteor, shooting across the skies of the northeast United States. Many of the spectators appear to be in the Washington D.C. area, but The Huffington Post has received reports of sightings from South Carolina to Connecticut. The object was described as bright green in color and visible for about 40 seconds. It was also described in multiple accounts as "sparking" or "flashing."

So far, there are no confirmed photos of the event. Several photos have circulated Twitter and Facebook, purporting to depict tonight's event, but at least two of the most widely shared of these depict earlier events (see here and here). In addition, reports of an impact in Delaware have circulated. However, these may also be false.  - Huffington Post.

Twitter and social media feeds have been peppered by reports of a large vibrant meteor.

The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received over 500 reports of the meteor from Florida to Maine, and many reports from Canada:

The American Meteor Society has received over 500 reports of a bright meteor that occurred near 2200 (8:00pm EDT) on Friday evening March 22, 2013. The witnesses range from along the Atlantic coast ranging from Maine to North Carolina. This object was also seen as far inland as Ohio. Individual reports may be viewed in the 2013 AMS Fireball Table. Refer to event #667 for 2013. For those not familiar with meteors and fireballs, a fireball is a meteor that is larger than normal. Most meteors are only the size of small pebbles. A meteor the size of a softball can produce light equivalent to the full moon for a short instant. The reason for this is the extreme velocity at which these objects strike the atmosphere. Even the slowest meteors are still traveling at 10 miles per SECOND, which is much faster than a speeding bullet. Fireballs occur every day over all parts of the Earth. It is rare though for an individual to see more than one or two per lifetime as they also occur during the day, on a cloudy night, or over a remote area where no one sees it. Observing during one of the major annual meteor showers can increase your chance of seeing another one of these bright meteors.

Heat Map For March 22nd, 2013 Northeast Fireball. Image: AMS.

Trajectory For March 22, 2013 Fireball Event.
Here’s an estimated trajectory model for the meteor spotted in the northeast earlier tonight. This model is calculated by computing the intersection points of each witness with all other witnesses. These points are then averaged for the starting and ending points of the meteor.
Image: AMS.

Meteors often appear much closer than they really are. There is often a common misconception that the object appeared nearby when in fact the actual flight path was several hundred miles away and was witnessed over several states. It is your perspective that makes meteors appear to strike the horizon when in fact they are still high in the atmosphere. This is much like a jetliner seen low in your sky. It appears low to you but for someone located many miles away in that direction, the jetliner is passing high overhead. Meteors become visible at approximately 50 miles above the Earth’s surface. Friction slows these objects down until they fall below the velocity necessary to produce light. At this point they still lie at least 5 miles high in the sky. They are invisible below this altitude and cannot be seen as they basically free falling to the ground at 200mph. Very few meteors actually reach the ground as 99.99% completely disintegrate while still 10-20 miles up in the atmosphere. - AMS.

See more reports HERE.

WATCH: First images of the large bright fireball over Northeast United States.

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