A massive fireball blasting through the sky at 36,000 miles per hour over Washington DC and New York has sparked widespread panic.
The fireball, which was most likely a meteor or a rock from space, entered Earth’s atmosphere and quickly turned heads as it shot across the sky.
Reports were first received around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, when the blast was first spotted. The fireball was seen as far south as Richmond, Virginia and as far north as New York.
Online users shared dozens of photos and videos Sunday night showing the great strike — before it died down with a loud bang somewhere in Virginia.
“The amazing thing was how bright it was,” one person tweeted Sunday night.
A massive fireball shooting through the sky at 36,000 miles per hour and stretching across the skies of Washington, DC and New York sparked widespread panic Sunday night
The fireball, which was most likely a meteor or a rock from space, entered Earth’s atmosphere and quickly turned heads as it shot across the sky
Experts believe it is likely that the fireball was a meteor spanning the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
The fireball was first sighted about 50 miles above Forest Hill, Maryland, according to the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page.
At that point, it was recorded hurtling through the sky at 36,000 miles per hour.
From there, the fireball made its way to Pennsylvania, according to the site.
“It disintegrated at an altitude of 22 miles over Gnatstown, Pennsylvania, reached quarter moon brightness, and traveled a little over 55 miles through the atmosphere,” reads one post.
Comments on the post were littered with users sharing their own experiences of seeing the fireball.
“We saw it on the Long Island Expressway last night!! It was pretty amazing to see!!’ one person wrote.
“I saw this around 9:20 PM in the Canaan Valley, West Virginia – a bright green meteor with a long tail tinted coppery orange at the edges!” It was wonderful!’
“I saw that last too. It was spectacular. “Very bright and very large.”
On social media, users followed the commenters’ comments on the Nasa Meteor Watch post.
“I saw it in Metuchen, New Jersey. It was bright green! “One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen,” wrote Twitter user Collin Gross.
The fireball in photos and videos from mid-Atlantic Sunday evening
The fireball in video from the Washington, DC area on Sunday
During its brief existence, the meteor quickly burned up, giving off an orange hue and a long green tail.
The fireball reportedly reached a brightness equivalent to that of a quarter moon.
Experts assume that the fireball most likely became a bolide on its journey through the atmosphere. A bolide is a fireball that explodes at the end of its life.
Hundreds of people shared reports of the fireball throughout the night, according to the American Meteorological Society.
Some online said the fireball silently flew through the sky, while others said they heard loud noises, including a pop at the end.
The sighting over the mid-Atlantic and northeast comes just days after a similar fireball streaked through the sky over Turkey.
Stunning video showed the bright light breaking through the sky, shocking and surprising residents who watched the spectacle.
The incidents are common as “several thousand fireball-sized meteors” enter Earth’s atmosphere every day, according to the American Meteor Society.
“Those that occur at night also have little chance of being detected due to the relatively small number of people who notice them,” they say.