Meteor Spotted Streaking Through Sky Over Region
Breaking: Multiple reports of blue or green light streaking through sky
Meteor Over Manhattan: East Coast Fireball 3-22-2013
Published on Mar 22, 2013
A bright meteor briefly outshined the lights of New York City Friday evening (March 22), according to reports by witnesses who used Twitter and the Internet to report sightings of the fireball streaking over a broad stretch of the U.S. East Coast.
"Strange Friday night ... a meteor passed over my house tonight!" wrote one New Yorker writing as Yanksmom19.
The first fireball sightings came at about 8 p.m. EDT (0000 March 23 GMT) and sparked more than 500 witness reports to the American Meteor Society. Reports of the meteor flooded Twitter from New York, Boston and Washington, D.C.
"The witnesses range from along the Atlantic Coast ranging from Maine to North Carolina," Robert Lunsford, the society's fireball coordinator, wrote in an update. "This object was also seen as far inland as Ohio.
The bright streak of light spotted over the region Friday evening was in fact a meteor, StormTeam 4 Meteorologist Doug Kammerer has confirmed.
Multiple reports began coming in around 8 p.m. People spotted the streak of light in both Maryland and Virginia -- and as far north as New York and Maine. Many said it appeared to be blue or green.
The meteor was traveling about 10 miles per second, much faster than even a speeding bullet, Kammerer said.
While meteors are not rare and come through the Earth's atmosphere every day, this meteor was larger than usual, which is what made it much easier to see, Kammerer said. That's why it had such a dramatic light.
On Twitter, @MisterNeek told us, "[I] definitely witnessed what appeared to be a shooting star around 8 o clock, which then burst into a beaming red/green glow."
Rebecca Hovis told us in an email at 8 p.m. that she saw what appeared to be a meteor. "I was on Van Dorn [Street] going toward seminary road," she wrote.
Karen Watson told us on Twitter: "Yes, yes! Saw the meteor -- bright green -- in the sky over Kingstowne (Alexandria), Va."
Twitter user @brownpau wrote: "Saw it going west to east about 10 degrees up in the northern sky from Dunn Loring area, bright green with a plasma trail."
Jennifer Stymiest told us, "I live in the Croom area of Upper Marlboro and at approximately 7:55 this evening, I saw a rather large bright blue ball with what looked like a bright orange tail go soaring past our house.... It appeared to be just over the treetops."
Thomas Birchall told us, "Meteor spotted streaking across the sky in Germantown, Md. It was greenish blue in color and could be seen disintegrating in the Gaithersburg direction."
Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environmental Office told the Associated Press that the flash appeared to be "a single meteor event.'' He also noted that the meteor was widely seen, with more than 350 reports on the website of the American Meteor Society alone.
The sighting comes five weeks after a meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, injuring nearly 1,500 people and blowing out windows across the region.
Also in February, meteors were reported over the Bay Area and in Florida.
While it may seem like there's been an uptick in meteor sightings lately, Kammerer said it's more likely that the growth of social media has made reports of them more widely known.