A fireball was caught on dashcam on Thursday night. No, this video is not from Russia, which is often the headlines for crazy dashcam videos — it’s from the Mid Atlantic. Dan Perjar was driving down the freeway in Raleigh, N.C., when a fireball streaked across the sky. Luckily the camera on his car’s dashboard was ready to capture the scene. As the fireball shoots across the night sky, it appears to flash like a firework before it disappears.
The anomaly was seen lighting up the sky from North Carolina to as far north as New York, including Washington D.C.. According to the American Meteor Society, it was primarily seen by witnesses in Virginia, though people in D.C., Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and even West Virginia are reporting seeing the ball of fire.
The American Meteor Society also has an interactive map of fireball reports on their website. The society explains that a fireball is a very bright meteor, and specifically, is brighter in the night sky than the planet Venus. Several thousand meteors occur every day, though we only see a fraction of them since so many happen over oceans or un-populated areas. We can see fireballs in the daylight, as we saw in Russia last year, though these events need to be incredibly bright — and even brighter if their trajectory is close to or in front of the sun.
Thursday’s fireball also lit up social media, and many CWG readers saw the event themselves:
Anybody else in northern Virginia just we a flying green object that looked like a shooting star in the southern sky? @capitalweather
— Jordan Boddie (@Runway1R) July 18, 2014
— Ben Dunham (@dunhamMLA) July 18, 2014
— Joe Pinsker (@jpinsk) July 18, 2014
— Tara Kennedy (@TaraTLK) July 18, 2014
@capitalweather i caught it here in Baltimore, green streak with a white flash/breakup in the southern sky, thought it was a firework at 1st
— Jason B (@boothy443) July 18, 2014
If you saw the fireball last night, the AMS is collecting witness reports on their website.