Fireballs Light Up The Night Sky On East Coast

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The sky is a fascinating place, and if you keep your eyes tilted to the heavens you’ll see some pretty amazing things. Starting last week, there have been myriad reports of fireballs raining down all over the east coast, with some spectacular displays.

Things started on October 4th, when police and fire departments all over Toronto started getting dozens of calls about a giant blazing fireball in the sky. Observers thought it could have been a plane exploding in mid-air, the thing was so sudden and huge. However, nobody could find any evidence of any impact on the ground. When additional calls started coming in all over the east coast, things changed.

The American Meteor Society – who tabulates this kind of thing – said they got about 700 calls that night, with the southernmost sighting in Virginia.

The cause of these fireballs is the Orionid meteor shower, a fairly regular visitor to Earth’s atmosphere. These pieces of space debris come from the wake of Halley’s comet, and when they enter our atmosphere burn up in spectacular displays. Tuesday’s meteor is thought to have burned up around Cameron, New York. If you missed it, don’t fret – the Orionid is scheduled to drop more meteors through mid-November.

Credit to HNGN for the original report.