Brilliant meteor over Utah

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A gorgeously glowing meteor flew over Utah on Wednesday night, alarming some citizens and delighting others. The image above is from a security camera at the IMFT plant in Lehi, Utah. From KSL-TV, were you can also see some video of the fireball:
Clark Planetarium Director Seth Jarvis said the stony meteorite was probably traveling 80,000 miles an hour when it hit our atmosphere. He said it happened 100 miles up in the air; so despite the brightness, Utah was never in any danger. "These collisions can do damage, but they are extremely rare; and literally once in a century do you observe something that's actually doing damage," he said. Witness Andy Bailey said, "Oh, it lit up the whole sky, like almost brighter than the day. It was bright." Don White was in Wyoming and told KSL Newsradio for a moment he suspected a nuclear strike. "With something that brilliant and that fast, it was like, whoa, did we just get hit or something? It would have been some bigger noise I guess if a nuclear device had gone off," he said.
"Meteor lights up early morning sky, alarms Utahns"


  1. It was fantastic! I literally thought the world was glitching it looked so much like day light. Seriously, black night sky one minute, a couple of flickers then as bright as day, the strangest sensation I’ve ever had. The contrail was bright red, and you could actually see the fireball, it was very impressive.

  2. There was a Leonid straggler over State Street here in Santa Barbara just after 6PM PST last night, low in the sky towards the west and bright enough to be seen through the light pollution of town. It was much larger and brighter than anything I saw during the shower on the 17th. ‘Twas no bolide, though…

    1. IWood: I saw that one from Napa. 6:08PM several degrees to the east of the moon descending towards the horizon. I was driving south on highway 29 when I saw it. Very bright.

  3. Fireballs like this is rare, but they do happen and when they do, they are MEMORABLE.

    I’m excited to see that the fireball has stimulated so much interest in the night sky and gotten so many people to pay attention to what’s overhead at night.

    This fireball was seen from Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada and California, and got people talking about space – intensely – in all the areas where it was visible. COOL!

    Keep watching the skies – and remember that your friendly neighborhood planetarium is always happy to answer your questions.

  4. I’ve seen three fireballs in my lifetime, but so far none as spectacular as this one (we were socked in for most of the peak nights for this years Leonids). The only time I’ve seen anything close to this (June, 1985), turns out it wasn’t a meteor at all, but a failed Russian maritime reconnaissance satellite.
    Still look up, still hopeful…

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