The Northeast US was treated to a doubleheader of rare sky phenomenon this past weekend. On Saturday evening, a NASA rocket launched from Virginia created a spectacular but short-lived “comet”. Later on that night around 12:30 to 1:00 am, a brilliant fireball was observed along the eastern seaboard from New Jersey to Maine. There were even sightings as far inland as the Buffalo area and far eastern Ontario.
The above map plots sightings of the fireball reported to the American Meteor Society’s Fireball page and this blog. The reports are consistent with an object that was at least as bright as the Full Moon and lasted for 3-10 seconds. There were 2 reports of delayed sonic booms, possibly caused by falling meteorites. These reports were relatively close to each in Derry, NH and Westford, MA. The fireball was most likely caused by a small asteroid (maybe a foot or so across) burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Please send any additional reports to the American Meteor Society’s Fireball page.