On May 20, 2016

Enormous “fireball” meteor seen across Northeast

By Polly Lynn

An enormous meteor streaked across the sky at approximately 12:50 a.m. Tuesday morning. At first the sky lit up a green/blue color, then the very bright fireball, also known as a bolide, appeared in the southwestern sky and streaked east across the entire sky, appearing to come close to land before dying out.

“It looked like it landed in the field right next to us,” said Jason Mikula, who was driving south on I-89 near the Montpelier exit when he witnessed the rare phenomenon. “It was so big, so bright—it seemed to last forever.”

The bolide was seen throughout the northeastern U.S. The American Meteor Society had received 330 reports as of Tuesday morning about the “fireball event.” Most were from Maine but witnesses from Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Ontario (Canada) and Québec (Canada) also reported the event.

“Huge green meteor just came in over Burlington. From my vantage point, might have landed in Intervale (illusion, I’m sure) #btv #vt” tweeted E. Kelly O’Neil, a self-described abstract photographer, foodie, geek and dog lover from Burlington.

“I saw this too in Quechee it was pretty big it was stunning made my heart leap,” wrote Becca N Glum, a “Chief Executive Officer at Stay-at-home parent” responding to The Mountain Times report of the meteor on WCAX.

Vermont State Police reported that they received six or seven calls around 1 a.m. wondering what the flare was all about.

Some viewers reported hearing a loud boom and felt shaking. Experts explain that such a “sonic boom” is created because meteors travel faster than the speed of sound, and, like thunder, those sound waves can rattle walls and ceilings.

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