Fri, 15 Jun 2012 08:10 UTC
Reports began coming in just after 10 p.m. on Thursday of a bright object streaking across the sky at about 9:55 p.m.
"It was an incredible sight. It came from the south, streaked over head quickly and then within a second disappeared over Lake Erie," Kathy from Willoughby Hills, Ohio said. She described the sight as a bright white ball with a long, green tail.
Steven from Wooster, Ohio saw it too. He said he also saw "2 or 3 pieces that came off bottom and were traveling at a slower velocity."
The shooting star was observed across portions of Ohio, Southern Ontario, Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
Steven in Toronto, comments, "Never seen anything like it before. There was a main body of white streaking across the sky, (and) smaller objects near it."
"Just saw a glow over the lake, green blue in color. (It) looked like a firework at first but we realized it wasn't." said K.J. from Sarnia, Ontario.
Margaret from Perry, Ohio exclaims, "I have seen a few fireballs in my life. Never one that was green. So cool. looked like green sparks coming off initial fireball. Fireball faded with no flash. Glowing green and white that faded to white."
The sight was also seen in Circleville, near Columbus, Ohio.
"It was going horizontal all white, then it exploded in a red- orange It was white glowing trail," said Lloyd Poling.
Shooting stars are common around the world as very small pieces of space rock burn up in the Earth's atmosphere. Most of the shooting stars are as small and create a quick, white streak across the night sky. Occasional, larger pieces of space rock, hit our atmosphere and create a show like many saw this night.
"Most shooting stars are smaller than a grain of sand," said astronomer Jay Reynolds from Cleveland State University. "This one could have been nickel size, penny size." As for the color of the streak, that depends on the chemical make-up of the rock itself.
"The green color of the tail tells you that the space rock was full of iron," said Reynolds.
Shooting stars are mainly associated with the Earth's periodic encounters with dust from comet's tails. These meteor showers happen regularly several times per year. The next round is not expected until July 28 and 29, 2012 as part of the Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower. But, occasionally, experts say, a random rock finds its way to Earth.
Adds Reynolds, "This was a little chunk of iron hanging out there in space and the earth got in the way."