ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The fireball started out as a thin white streak transitioning into a bright bluish flash traveling across the night sky late Wednesday night.
Tanya Chalmers of Paramus was with friends at the Rockefeller look out on the Palisades Parkway in Englewood Cliffs at 11 p.m.
She had an unobstructed view, reports CBS2’s Meg Baker.
“We were just chatting and looking out at the stars, planes taking off and landing, and then all of a sudden we saw a super bright flash,” said Chalmers.
Her friend caught it on camera.
“His dashboard cam usually on 24/7,” said Chalmers. “It was bright white then you almost saw a little bit of blue, and then it kind of fizzled out,” she said.
The American Meteor Society says what appeared to be a meteor traveled from southeast to northeast.
People observed it from North Carolina to Maine.
Rutgers University professor Carlton Pryor says it’s an unusual event to see such a bright shooting star. The glow is created by friction, and this one may have only been the size of a football.
“Basically size of meteoroid entering Earth’s atmosphere faster than a rifle bullet,” said Pryor.
“It was absolutely incredible,” said Chalmers.
Pryor says it faded out over land in Connecticut so there is a chance bits of outer space reached the ground.
Scientists at Rutgers use meteors to study how the solar system was formed. Professor Pryor urges people who find what might be a chunk of meteor on the ground to wrap it in aluminum foil. It may feel heavier than normal stone and could be magnetized.