Meteor dazzles viewers across Washington region

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 27, 2010

A bright fireball flashed across the skies of the Washington region last week, visible to people in the grandstand at a baseball game, as well as to motorists, pedestrians and people standing on suburban decks.

The American Meteor Society logged more than 30 reports of the Thursday night event, from the Washington metropolitan area to Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia. Almost all placed the time at about 9:55 p.m.

"It was a very bright object," said Chris Wood, who saw it from the deck of a house in Potomac. "It was so bright that the trees cast shadows" in its light, he said.

"It just kept going until it was past the horizon," he added.

"It was the brightest I've ever seen at night," he said.

Wood said the meteor appeared green, but some of the other reports on the society's Web site described it as blue or yellow. A report from Stamford, Conn., said it had a green head and a yellow trail.

Numerous reports were also posted on a Web site maintained by the Baltimore Sun.

One post said: "My son and I saw the meteor when we were driving in . . . Loudoun County between . . . Leesburg and Purcellville. It was extremely bright, had a slight green hue, and was heading in a north, northwesterly direction. . . . It lasted for about 2-5 seconds."

Another post read: "I was walking up Connecticut Avenue in Washington, DC and saw it as well! Biggest shooting star I've ever seen!"

Several people wrote that they saw the fireball while in the stands at the Baltimore Orioles baseball game.

"I was in Section 14 (first base side, lower deck) at the game and saw it. It was a greenish streak."

The meteor society describes itself as a nonprofit scientific group set up to aid amateur and professional astronomers interested in meteors.


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