Videos capture the moment a bright blue fireball appeared in the Colorado sky
Less than one week after numerous people reported seeing a fireball across the East Coast, another one was spotted in Colorado that appeared brighter as it lit the night sky blue.
The American Meteor Society said they received 50 reports from people in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico who saw a fireball around 4:30 a.m. Sunday.
According to the society, a fireball is a meteor that illuminates the sky brighter than Venus, the brightest planet in our solar system.
Of the reported sightings, 12 were caught on video and four via photos. One video from a Colorado home shows the fireball turning the night sky a bright blue.
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 Colorado's Rocky Mountains, told the outlet the fireball was "descending very deep."
"Ten or 20 miles may not seem very close to the ground, but when we think about typical burning stars, we’re seeing things that are burning up 60 to 70 miles high," he said.
While the speed of the fireball has not been determined, they can enter Earth's atmosphere from 25,000 to 160,000 miles per hour before rapidly decelerating, according to the American Meteor Society. NASA says fireballs don't typically stay intact while passing through Earth's atmosphere, and sometimes fragments, or meteorites, can be recovered on 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 across the North Carolina coast at 32,000 miles per hour. The American Meteor Society said they received 148 reports of that fireball seen in North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
While they may seem rare, the organization says several thousand fireballs appear in Earth's atmosphere each day, but they mainly go undetected since they occur in the daylight, or over oceans and uninhabited areas. Even at night, some people may not notice them the moment they occur.
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