Early risers in the eastern half of the country who were out just before 6:30 this morning caught a glimpse of an unexpected sight: a brilliant ball of fire flashing in the night sky.
The unexpected celestial firework prompted more than 320 reports to the American Meteor Society in a region that stretched from South Carolina to Chicago to southern Ontario. The preliminary trajectory calculated on the basis of these reports has the fireball traveling from southeast to northwest, ending its flight visible somewhere over North Benton, a town on the northern border of Ohio.
A fireball is defined as a meteor brighter than Venus when it enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Fireballs, especially such a bright one, are very rare.
And luckily for those of us who were away and / or slept soundly, many people were able to get brilliant shots of the fireball ̵
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A truck driver driving on I-76 in Pennsylvania got a great shot of the action with his dash camera and posted the video to YouTube.
A woman who took a morning walk sent some photos to the WTOV in Steubenville, Ohio, which clearly show the trail of the fireball in the night sky.
☄️ I see reports of a fireball lighting up the sky around 6:25 am. Lauren Borell was out walking with her dog and took these pictures with her phone. If you have photos you want to share, please send them to Chime at: https://t.co/7N4kouxkd9 pic.twitter.com/FYIkvojhMX
– Jeff Oechslein (@ JeffWTOV9) September 30, 2020
Another video of the fireball came courtesy of a security camera in New Lyme, Ohio. It shows the rapid crescendo of light in a bright flash followed by a slightly longer fade into darkness.
The Ohio Department of Transportation has collected useful footage from several of its surveillance cameras in this reel, which gives a better idea of how the fireball lit up the entire sky.