Science

Mysterious Fireball Streaked Across New England

The mysterious fireball was visible across the night sky yesterday and could be seen from Massachusetts to Maine and beyond. The fireball was most likely a meteor that measured up to the size of a golf ball moving at a speed of between 10 and 30 miles per second, until it burned up in the atmosphere, The Boston Herald reports.

Mysterious Fireball
Image source: YouTube Video Screenshot

The meteor that streaked across the night sky in New England left those who caught a glimpse of it amazed or puzzled at around 6 p.m. last night. The reactions to the event flooded social media, especially Twitter, where the mysterious fireball was described as a “ball of light” that was “fiery” with a “greenish glow.” On the other hand, some users of Twitter noted the ball looked like a “blue flash of light” which appeared to be “very bright.”

Astronomy professor emeritus, Kenneth Janes, at Boston University told the Boston Herald that he doesn’t “believe it was part of a meteor shower, the remains of broken up comets falling to Earth.” He also added that the last meteor shower occurred about 10 days ago, while the next won’t occur until January.

“This meteor likely burned up before hitting the ground and was probably very small – otherwise it would have triggered a ‘tremendous explosion’ upon impact,” Janes told the Boston Herald.

The meteor likely streaked between 10 and 25 miles up in the air, meaning it kept out of range of aircraft. According to the Herald, a Massport spokeswoman said that the Boston Logan International Airport operations reported no impact.

“The ones that would do really serious damage are rare, but not impossible,” Janes said. “These are simply bits of rock in orbit around the sun. These occur every day somewhere on the earth.”

The image of the white trail of light has been captured on a webcam which is operated by the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Program in York, Maine. That image was shortly then spread over social media.

“Sometimes it’ll capture an aurora,” said Robin Kerr, the conservation coordinator as quoted by The Boston Herald. “It’s rare. About five or six years ago, it caught a snowy owl up on a viewing platform. We can see when there’s a meteor shower.”

About the space objects that are actually dangerous, Janes told the Herald that “NASA believes it has identified all the bits of space rocks that are a half-kilometer or larger in size. In October an asteroid the size of a bus passed between Earth and the moon – “a near-miss,” in astronomical terms.”