Stargazers in New England were treated to a surprise light show last night. As NBC Boston reports, a green flash—likely caused by a fireball meteor—lit up skies over Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and other northeastern states on Wednesday, July 24, and the whole spectacle was caught on tape.
Though they don't peak until August, the famed Perseid meteor shower has been peppering the Earth's atmosphere since mid-July. Most space debris that burns up in the sky is briefly visible as a faint streak of light, but the object that was spotted last night was much larger than the average shooting star. Some experts are calling it a "fireball," a designation reserved for meteors that are especially bright.
The American Meteor Society began receiving reports of the flash after 10 p.m. on Wednesday night. The sightings came in from across New England and the Mid-Atlantic, with some originating as far south as North Carolina. Security cameras and dashcams throughout the region recorded the event, with the flash lasting just a few seconds. You can see a bright light illuminate skies in the video clips below.
Fireballs are rare occurrences, but during the Perseids, which can reach over 100 meteors per hour, you have a better chance of spotting them. Scope out a place with clear skies and low light pollution when the meteor shower reaches its peak in mid-August.
[h/t NBC Boston]