Fireball in sky seen across East Coast likely a meteor, experts say

A flash that lit up the skies over parts of the country in the early morning hours of Wednesday was probably a random meteor, an expert said.

Many social media users around the Pittsburgh area reported seeing a streaking fireball shortly after 4 a.m. It remained in the skies for a short time before disappearing from view. One of those witnesses was a truck driver who can be heard over the radio shortly after the sight saying, “Whoa, did anybody see that flash of light? Something just came streaking across the sky.”

The American Meteor Society, a nonprofit group, said it received more than 200 reports of a bright fireball over eastern Ohio. Robert Lunsford, a society official, said the fireball was most likely a random meteor not associated with any known meteor shower.


It takes an object only the size of a softball to create a flash as bright as the full moon, Lunsford said. This object was probably a bit larger, Lunsford said, but more analysis would be needed to determine its size.

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh said it was aware of the reports but had no information. Officials at the University of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Observatory did not immediately comment.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report