Large Green Meteor Lit Up The Skies Of DC Early Tuesday

Shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday, a fireball streaked across the skies in the Washington area. It was a dazzling spectacle for those lucky enough to see it live while, in jest, you might say it carried some symbolic meaning given Washington’s explosive political scene.“It was huge!” said Travis Loop, who witnessed it from Annandale.

Tenna Lambeth who saw it from South Riding called it “amazing.”

The super bright meteor was seen over the eastern sky from the vantage point of the District, and was zipping northward.

“I was heading eastbound on the toll road between the Reston Parkway and Wiehle exits,” said Facebook reader Christy Henderson. “It came from the south and seemed to have a low entry angle from my vantage point. It broke into pieces and fizzled quickly — saw it for maybe 3 seconds.”

Other eyewitnesses described it as “neon green” with a tail that “looked like fireworks sparkles.”

Facebook reader Mandrake Sumners said it looked like a “satellite burning up.”

The American Meteor Society, which tracks fireballs, encourages eyewitnesses to log a report describing what they saw on its website. More than two dozen reports had already been filed as of Wednesday morning.

Fireballs visible from our planet dash across the sky every day; this is not an uncommon event and we have documented fireballs in the D.C. sky many times before. The American Meteor Society offers some helpful background information on the phenomenon:

A fireball is a meteor that is larger than normal. Most meteors are only the size of tiny pebbles. A meteor the size of a softball can produce light equivalent to the full moon for a short instant. The reason for this is the extreme velocity at which these objects strike the atmosphere. Even the slowest meteors are still traveling at 10 miles per SECOND, which is much faster than a speeding bullet.

Here are some additional eyewitness reports of the fireball we received via Twitter:

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