File photo of meteor

File photo of meteor
The Perseid meteor shower can also produce fireballs in the sky. In fact, last night 14 fireballs were produced from the Perseid meteor shower.

Fireballs are meteors that have a glowing tail. They are officially rated fireballs if the glowing tail is brighter than Venus.

Mike Murray, astronomer at the Delta College Planetarium, says the Perseid meteor shower gives us the best chance all year to see fireballs. Fireballs are created when the larger meteors take a longer time to burn up and disappear. By larger, Murray says the fireball meteors are still only about the size of a pea.

NASA has a camera network of 15 cameras pointing at the sky. These cameras can see and record the fireballs. Groups of these cameras are located in the Southeast U.S., the Northeast U.S. and the Southwest U.S.

Last night the camera network saw 14 fireballs resulting from the Perseid meteor shower.

As the Perseid meteor shower ramps up to its peak, the chance of seeing a fireball will also increase.

Murray says there is no way to predict when there will be fireballs. He says the increase in meteors does increase the chance of fireballs.

Fireballs have a long, glowing tail that lasts only a few seconds. But Murray says there is even the chance to see something more spectacular, a bolide. Bolides are larger meteors that break up and appear to have multiple fiery tails. Bolides look like rocket boosters exploding into pieces in space.

Start watching for the Perseids tonight. You might just get an extra show of a fireball or a bolide.