The Washington Post

Possible Fireball spotted over Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia Tuesday evening

Tuesday night, around 7 p.m., several witnesses report seeing a fireball streak across the sky in the Washington, D.C. region.

“I was walking to Alliance Francaise from the Zoo metro stop around 7 p.m. last night, and I saw a white light in the sky zip past overhead, and then go out with a small boom while still traversing the sky,” emailed Victoria Hall.

Capital Weather Gang reader “snowlover31” left the following comment on the blog: “Saw a VERY large shooting star around 7:15 p.m. near Centreville High School looking northeast.. not one of your average ones either, it was orangish red in color and lasted a bit more than your average blink of an eye shooting star..”

On the American Meteor Society website, similar reports were logged:

* Marth Widra out of Glen Burnie, Md says she saw “an object that had a reddish fire-like ball with a yellow/orange tail.”

* Keith Cross in Hughesville, Md. says it had “almost exactly the look of a very large firework but was moving incredibly fast and completely silent till it burnt out”. Cross added: “it was the brightest object I’ve ever seen flying across the sky”

A fireball is a meteor (sometimes referred to as a shooting star) that is larger and brighter than normal. The American Meteor Society says they occur every day over all parts of Earth but that most people will only witness one or two in their lifetime.

The meteor seen last night has not been officially recognized as a fireball by the American Meteor Society, which first reviews reports before any classification.

Did you see a meteor or fireball last night? Leave a comment here and log your observation on the American Meteor Society website.

Related: Fireball in broad daylight? April 2 Texas sighting confirmed; Meteor seen in Chicago Wednesday

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.
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