Dozens of reports have streamed in about a fireball that was seen in the skies over Washington state, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia on Thursday night.
The American Meteor Society’s online tracker lists more than 70 reports from locales over a wide area, ranging southward to Eugene, Ore., northward to Vancouver and Enderby, B.C., and eastward to Grangeville, Idaho. Most of the reports were registered around 9:40 p.m.
Michael Lee, one of the founders of the Seattle-based Jobscan resume service, captured the pop and flash of the fireball in a dashcam video:
Witnesses traded reports on Q13 Fox’s Facebook page.
“I saw it in Snohomish, thought it was a falling star but then there were three explosions that lit up the sky,” one commenter wrote. “So cool.”
Tammy Kwan, a staff writer for The Georgia Straight in Vancouver, snagged her own dashcam video on the road in British Columbia.
“Was driving on Lougheed Highway in Pitt Meadows when I spotted something big that lit up the sky,” she wrote in her YouTube description for the video. “Later realized it was a huge meteor and it was pretty amazing seeing it with my own eyes.”
Chances are the flash was caused by a meteor, but it could also have been a piece of space junk re-entering the atmosphere. The timestamps on dashcam videos could help expert meteor-watchers zero in on the space object’s trajectory.
The University of Washington’s astronomy department didn’t have anything to add this morning, but if we hear more, we’ll update this item.