Less than a week after many people reported seeing a fireball on the east coast, another was spotted in Colorado that looked brighter as it lit up the blue night sky.
The American Meteor Society said it had received 50 reports from people in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico who saw a fireball around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday.
According to the company, a fireball is a meteor that lights up the sky stronger than Venus, the brightest planet in our solar system.
Of the sightings reported, 12 were captured on video and four via photos. Video from a Colorado home shows the fireball transforming the night sky to a dazzling blue.
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Josh Ellis, a resident of Evergreen, less than 20 miles southwest of Denver, told CBS Denver the light was bright enough to charge his solar panels.
Chris Peterson, who works at the Cloudbait Observatory in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, told the outlet that the fireball was “going down very deep.”
“Ten or 20 miles may not seem very close to the ground, but when we think of the typical burning stars, we see things that are burning up to 60 to 70 miles high,” he said.
Although the speed of the fireball has not been determined, they can enter Earth’s atmosphere at 25,000 to 160,000 miles per hour before decelerating rapidly, according to the American Meteor Society. NASA says fireballs generally do not stay intact as they pass through Earth’s atmosphere and that sometimes fragments, or meteorites, can be recovered from the ground.
Peterson said “there’s a good chance” there are several pounds of meteor debris on the ground in Colorado.
The fireball seen around the Rocky Mountains comes less than a week after NASA reported a fireball falling on the coast of North Carolina at 32,000 miles per hour. The American Meteor Society said it has received 148 reports of this fireball seen in North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
Although they may seem rare, the organization claims that several thousand fireballs appear in Earth’s atmosphere every day, but they mostly go unnoticed as they occur in daylight, or over oceans and uninhabited areas. Even at night, some people may not notice them when they occur.
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