Monday, August 27, 2018

Great Balls of Fire

Earlier this evening I had the privilege of witnessing an event called a "fireball". It lasted several seconds, traversed most of the visible sky from my viewpoint, and had quite a long, bright tail.

Apparently a fireball is a very bright meteor.  Meteors are objects burning up in the atmosphere; not to be confused with asteriods or meteoroids which are the same objects floating safely in space.  Whether a meteor is described as a boloid or fireball depends on the intensity of light emitted. Here's a simple graphic that details the differences.

Now I admittedly already knew the basic differences between meteors and asteroids,  but I had never heard of a meteor being a fireball or boloid.  It's always interesting to learn something new.

Unfortunately, I didn't have my phone to take a video, so you'll have to take my word for it.  Well, you'll have to take the word of over 100 people that witnessed and reported the event.  How do I know that?  Anyone can log such an event online at If enough people report an event, the organization will verify if the phenomenon is legitimate or something else, if I understand correctly.  You can also see a map of all reports for any event, including the event I witnessed.

Edit: Here’s an article with video:

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