Hundreds of witnesses along the mid-Atlantic coast observed a fireball streaking across the night sky on Sunday, September 14.

The American Meteor Society received more than 300 reports from witnesses who saw the bright aerial object at approximately 10:55 p.m. EDT. The bright meteor was large enough and bright enough to be seen by witnesses in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

“It traveled like a bottle rocket from the clouds to the ground,” describes one witness in PA. Another PA witness details, “Very large, very white fireball. Falling straight down. Had amber sparks and tail.” This same witness describes hearing a sonic boom after seeing the fireball flash and disappear.

Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, explained to New Jersey news website NJ.com that the fireball was almost as bright as a full moon, and it “traveled across some 20 miles of Pennsylvania countryside before fragmenting in a brilliant flash of light 18 miles above a point just southeast of the town of Warrior’s Mark.”

Because witnesses observed a flash and an explosion, the object is technically identified as a bolide.

The fireball’s 36,500 miles-per-hour blaze of glory was captured by NASA cameras.

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Tags: NASA Fireball