Orionid meteor lights up sky over Pennsylvania, US

Orionid meteor lights up sky over Pennsylvania, US

A bright meteor was seen streaking across the night sky over the US states of Pennsylvania and New York around 02:36 UTC on October 5, 2016 (22:36 EDT on October 4).

The preliminary estimated trajectory plotted from the witness reports submitted to the American Meteor Society shows the object was traveling approximately from the South to the North and ended its flight south of Cameron, New York.

The event was primarily seen from Ontario, Canada, 'but witnesses from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Washington DC, Michigan, West Virginia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Virginia and Québec also reported the event.' the AMS said.

"Its huge red tail was spotted by people in Philadelphia, the northwest suburbs and in South Jersey, Central Pennsylvania and as far south as Virginia," the Philly Voice writes:

In a comment thread on Reddit, user Governor Elect of NJ wrote: "I'm in South Jersey and I saw it. It was gigantic. I was wondering how far people could see it. I've been trying to figure out what it was."

Another Reddit user, admissessibilicable, wrote: "I did! Looked like a huge green flame over West Philly."

In Toronto, police and fire services received multiple calls about a plane crashing into the Toronto Harbour, but it turned out not to be true.

Credit: UTSC Observatory, Toronto, Canada. Via AMS

This appears to be a part of the Orionid meteor shower, an annual event caused by the passage of our planet through the debris field left over by Comet Halley. Earth entered the field on October 4 and will exit by November 14.

Peak activity is expected on the nights of October 20 and 21. Orionids tend to be very bright and fast.

Read more: Night Sky Guide for October 2016

Video courtesy Kris Brown

Featured image credit: UTSC Observatory


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