Skywatching

Watch a Brilliant Fireball Light Up the Sky in This NJ Police Dash-Cam Video

Tariq Malik |
A dazzling fireball streaks across the sky in this still from the dash-cam video of Sgt. Michael Virga, of the Township of Hamilton Police Department in New Jersey, on Dec. 2, 2017. Original Image
Credit: Township of Hamilton Police Department

When Sgt. Michael Virga went out on patrol last weekend in Hamilton, New Jersey, he wasn't expecting to see something truly out-of-this-world. But thanks to a spectacular fireball, that's exactly what the officer saw.

The fireball streaked across the early-morning sky at 3:09 a.m. EST (0809 GMT) on Saturday, Dec. 2, and Virga's vehicle dash cam recorded the dazzling sight, according to a statement from the Township of Hamilton Police Department.

"It kind of took me by surprise," Virga told NJ.com, adding that the fireball "lit up the entire sky like a lime-green streak." [Astronaut Sees Amazing Fireball from Space!]

A dazzling fireball streaks across the sky in this still from the dash-cam video of Sgt. Michael Virga, of the Township of Hamilton Police Department in New Jersey, on Dec. 2, 2017. Original Image
Credit: Township of Hamilton Police Department

The fireball was a bolide, a meteor that explodes in a brilliant flash as it plunges through Earth's atmosphere.

In a Twitter statement, the American Meteor Society said it received 133 separate reports from spectators who witnessed the fireball across Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Sightings were also reported from 10 other states (New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and Massachusetts) and Washington, D.C., the AMS reported

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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Author Bio


Tariq Malik, Space.com Managing Editor

Tariq joined Purch's Space.com team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter and on Facebook.