Pittsburgh (KDKA / AP) – Did you see that?
Early Wednesday morning, several social media users in Pittsburgh and above and below the East Coast reported seeing a bright light and a line in the sky.
Lightning struck shortly before 6:30 p.m. A trucker driving with an I-76 in Pennsylvania was able to capture a flash video from their Dashcom.
The American Omeyer Society, a non-profit group, said it had received more than 200 reports of a bright fireball in eastern Ohio. Robert Lanceford, a social worker, said Fireball was a random meteorite that was largely unrelated to any known meteor shower.
It only takes one object the size of a softball to create a flash as bright as the moon, Lanceford said. Lanceford said the material may be slightly larger, but additional analysis will be needed to determine its size.
6 At 6:25 am I see reports of a fireball burning in the sky. Lauren Borel was walking with her dog when she broke these photos with her phone. If you have any photos you would like to share, send them to Chime here: https://t.co/7N4kouxkd9 pic.twitter.com/FYIkvojhMX
– Jeff Ochslin (@ Jeff WDOV9) September 30, 2020
KDKA spoke to a science writer, explaining that fireball is mostly a meteorite falling towards Earth. Although meteorites are not rare, seeing one, especially this bright one, often does not happen.
“We saw truly exceptional meteorites, when debris, rock or metal from space hit the atmosphere,” said science writer Ralph Grove.
Crew says that the speed of the meteorite caused it to heat up so quickly and that it was rare to see such a large fireball.
“They really do happen often, but not in the most populous areas in general. Most of the earth is the sea, so we’m lucky to see something like this,” she told KDKA’s Lisa Washington.
Receiving reports of an amazing shooting star at 6:25 am!
If confirmed, the meteorite may have been a rare FIREBALL with a colorful burning blue or red tail.
Image by The American Meteorological Society of The Fireball. (Report here: https://t.co/Na1PaSNI6y)
Does anyone see this? pic.twitter.com/u7syzy0INj
– Chris Vickers (Chris WDL) September 30, 2020
Preliminary reports suggest that the fireball flew from the southeast to the northwest via Ohio’s North Benton, 77 miles from Pittsburgh, and that its flight ended somewhere.
He said the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh was aware of the reports but had no information.
Officials at the University of Pittsburgh’s Alejandro Lab did not immediately comment.
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