The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Fireball sizzles and then fizzles over the D.C. area Saturday evening

Alex Salvador captured dashcam video of a fireball streaking across the sky near Skyline in Falls Church, Va., at 6:17 p.m. on Jan. 30. (Video: YouTube/Alexander Salvador)

Scores of witnesses in northern Virginia, Maryland, and the District spotted a brilliant fireball dashing through the sky around 6:17 p.m. Saturday evening.

The fireball, defined as a very bright meteor, entered the region from the north according to reports.  It was seen all over the Northeast U.S. and even southeast Canada. Specifically, Capital Weather Gang obtained reports from Baltimore, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, and Ontario via Twitter.

Observers described it as “huge” and “very bright” but then noted it fizzled, disintegrating into fragments.

“Saw a very bright white fireball streaking down in the night sky with a tail trailing behind it,” wrote Stephanie Rallins on Capital Weather Gang’s Facebook page.

“It looked like the closest and brightest shooting star I have ever seen,” added Michelle Calabro in Centreville, Va.

Alex Salvador caught the fireball on his dashcam while driving through Skyline area on Rt. 7 in Alexandria, Va. The camera was facing west. “This looks like something burning up, falling down around the D.C.,” he posted to Twitter.

The American Meteor Society, which tracks fireballs, encourages eyewitnesses to log a report with a description on its website.