Thu, 28 Mar 2013 12:20 CDT
What is thought to have been a bright meteor, streaking across the predawn Northern Colorado sky Thursday, sparked reports from dozens of early birds who happened to view it.
Loveland resident Shawn Kraft caught it as he drove northward on U.S. 287, between Owl Canyon and Livermore, on his daily commute to Laramie where he works for the city as an information technologist.
"Here's what I could equate it with," Kraft said. "You know those little sparklers that kids waved around before they were illegal? It was like that. Green. Bright green. Really bright green, in a pitch-black sky. It took about a second or a second and a half."
The "fireball log" maintained by the American Meteor Society, an online gathering spot for amateur observers, contained nearly simultaneous reports of the same sighting -- a bright green meteor seen between 5:46 and 5:50 a.m.
The reports came from Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.
"It was good-sized," Kraft said. "It's the biggest thing I've ever seen in the sky like that."
A meteor is the name given to the light emitted by a meteoroid, a small rocky object that enters the earth's atmosphere from space, as it burns in the upper atmosphere.
A rare meteorite is a surviving fragment of a meteoroid that impacts the earth's surface. The vast majority of meteoroids vaporize in the atmosphere.