Around 6:23 p.m. ET Monday night, a brilliant fireball streaked through the western sky and was observed by scores of sky watchers in the D.C. area.  The American Meteor Society, which tracks such events, received over 200 reports from the D.C. region to as far west as Chicago and as far south as Georgia.

“[T]he feature that was most mentioned was the vivid green color mentioned by many witnesses,” the American Meteor Society said.

Indeed, eyewitness reports to the Capital Weather Gang described a vivid green trail in the western sky.

“Several Chicago area photographers, among them David Whitfield, managed to videotape the fireball which included a “tail” despite a thickening overcast over the city when the object passed overhead around 5:23 pm Monday evening,” writes meteorologist Tom Skilling at the ChicagoWeatherCenter.com.

See some of the video below:

Fireball over Japan

In a separate incident, a brilliant fireball was also observed and videotaped in southwest Japan near Fukuoka airport Monday evening:

Reports the Japan TimesObservatories and other bodies received a number of reports of a fireball-like object in the skies over western Japan on Monday night, with experts saying it was likely a bolide — a very bright shooting star.

Here’s some useful background on the phenomenon from the America Meteor Society:

A fireball is a meteor that is larger than normal. Most meteors are only the size of tiny pebbles. A meteor the size of a softball can produce light equivalent to the full moon for a short instant. The reason for this is the extreme velocity at which these objects strike the atmosphere. Even the slowest meteors are still traveling at 10 miles per SECOND, which is much faster than a speeding bullet. Fireballs occur every day over all parts of the Earth.

Read more here: Fireball frequently asked questions (American Meteor Society)

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