Fireball spotted across Maryland, Northeast on Sunday night

  • The American Meteor Society received reports of a fireball Sunday night from West Virginia to Massachusetts.
The American Meteor Society received reports of a fireball… (American Meteor Society )
September 15, 2014|By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

Nearly two dozen Marylanders reported seeing a fireball shoot across the sky late Sunday night.

The meteor was visible across a dozen states, from West Virginia and Ohio to New York City and Massachusetts, according to reports made to the American Meteor Society.

It produced a bright streak in the sky around 11 p.m., but few heard anything from it, according to the reports.

It was large and bright enough from my perspective to mistake it for fireworks, but it was going downward," a witness in Westminster reported.

"Hot tub was on so we couldn't hear if there was any sound associated with it," a woman in Middletown, in Frederick County, wrote.

Fireball reports are common, with nearly 1,500 reports made in the past month and nearly 2,200 different fireball "events" reported in the U.S. this year, according to the AMS. The group defines a fireball as a bright meteor, much like any "shooting star" seen in the night sky except much brighter and larger.

"Several thousand meteors of fireball magnitude occur in the Earth’s atmosphere each day," according to the AMS. "The vast majority of these, however, occur over the oceans and uninhabited regions, and a good many are masked by daylight. Those that occur at night also stand little chance of being detected due to the relatively low numbers of persons out to notice them."

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