Bright Meteor Flew Over Chicago, And We Captured It On Video

Bright Meteor Flew Over Chicago, And We Captured It On Video

In this 30 second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Spruce Knob, West Virginia. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

If you saw a bright flash of light or heard a boom overnight, you might have witnessed a bright meteor flying over the city of Chicago before it burned up and exploded in the atmosphere. At around 12:52 am CDT a bright meteor was reported flying overhead by individuals as far south as Alabama and as far north as Milwaukee.

I was up at that hour and witnessed a bright flash of light through an open window that changed color and intensity, followed by a loud boom sound. Knowing it’s Perseid season, I immediately considered the possibility that it was a meteor, but I wasn’t 100% certain because I barely caught a look before it was gone.

Fortunately, we have an extra security camera facing south and captured it on video. This is footage of the event we captured and uploaded to the American Meteor Society.

Because this camera is behind block glass the meteor appeared to split off at the end before it burned up, but it actually remained intact until the very end.

As I mentioned, it’s the beginning of the Perseids meteor shower event, an annual occurrence as the Earth travels through the debris field of Comet Swift-Tuttle. This years event began on the 17th and is expected to last until August 24th, but viewing is best during the nights of August 11-12th when the meteor shower will peak.

Fireball event map as reported to the AMS. Photo: AMS

If you witness a fireball event like that one that happened last night, you can report it to the American Meteor Society. The site collects data about these events all from individuals all over the world. Last night’s event garnered over 100 individual reports that helped determine the meteor’s trajectory.


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