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Large fireball spotted across the northeast on Sunday evening

A spectacular shot of a fireball spotted over Vermont on Sunday evening.
Ethan Rogati

Around 9 p.m. on Sunday evening, sporadic reports started coming in to social media and local government agencies of a fireball with a possible explosion over Montgomery county. Fire crews were dispatched to a field just outside Amsterdam searching for some sort of unknown accident or crash that was reported to the 911 emergency center.

After scouring the entire area and coming up with nothing, along with contacting the FAA for any reports of aircraft in distress, fire crews cleared the search. It was later confirmed to crews that a passing meteor was spotted over the area and likely caused the call.

A meteor or “shooting star” is the visible streak of light from a meteoroid or micrometeoroid, heated and glowing from entering the Earth’s atmosphere, as it sheds glowing material in its wake. A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body travelling through space.

When one enters Earth’s atmosphere, it heats up from atmospheric friction and produces the streak of light seen by many on the ground, both from the glowing object and the trail of glowing particles that it sheds in its wake. This phenomenon is called a meteor, or colloquially a “shooting star” or “falling star”.

The American Meteor Society received over 50 reports of a bright fireball seen across the northeast at approximately 8:45 PM local eastern time Sunday. Witnesses from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Quebec reported a large and bright bluish ball of light followed by a bright white tail.

Did you spot the fireball last night? Submit a report here.