Meteor Spotted Falling Over Parts of New York State [VIDEO]
New York state is one of the top states in the country for reported cases of unidentified flying objects. But many times these sightings have perfectly logical explanations. And while some of these objects in the night sky may indeed come from space, they're not necessarily piloted by otherworldly beings.
Great Balls of Fire
Fireballs are basically meteors that have entered the Earth's atmosphere and are defined by the International Astronomical Union as "a meteor brighter than any of the planets" Some estimates say there could be as many as 500,000 fireballs in our atmosphere every year, but a big majority go unnoticed. Many burn up in the atmosphere over uninhabited areas or the ocean.
However, did a fireball streak across the skies of New York state this past weekend?
Fireball Over New York
The American Meteor Society received reports of a fireball over New York Sunday night. One witness from Palmyra, New York was able to capture the fireball on his dashboard camera in the clip attached. Live Science said that around 120 reports were filed around the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to the AMS about the meteor.
Palmyra is a small town located in Wayne County.
Did a Small Asteroid Strike Poughkeepsie?
You may remember reports of the bright fireball that was seen all over the eastern part of the country in November 2020. Some outlets, such as the Gothamist, claim the space rock actually crashed somewhere in the area. Hundreds of reports poured in from witnesses all over the east coast at around 7:22 P.M. that evening. The American Meteor Society says the fireball's visible light trail ended somewhere over Poughkeepsie, according to the reports they received.
So, probably no.
Bright Lights and Fireballs
As of now, there is no actual evidence of asteroids striking here. That doesn't mean it hasn't happened, but there is no "smoking gun" to speak of. Chances are, the fireball simply disintegrated in mid-air. It actually happens a lot more than you may think. Wikipedia says an estimated 15,000 tons of space debris enter the planet's atmosphere every day. A huge majority never make it to the ground.
Many fizzle out or explode in the upper atmosphere without anyone ever hearing about it. Scientists do say a meteor may have exploded high above New York state in late 2019, causing an eerie greenish light to be seen in the sky that night, according to the many reports in the Saratoga area.
An Actual Meteorite in the Hudson Valley
Once a meteor strikes the surface, it officially becomes a meteorite. Has it happened in the Hudson Valley? More than likely, many times. But one particular cosmic incident from 1992 stands out. It would become one of the most historic meteorite events ever documented.
On October 9, 1992, a meteorite struck a parked 1980 Chevrolet Malibu in Peekskill. Yes, this really happened. You may have seen some of the footage on the news back then. While there were no smartphones in 1992, plenty of home video recorders captured the bright ball of green light, as it traveled in the night sky, across the eastern U.S. When it landed, the meteorite was about a foot across and weighed nearly 28 pounds. All that light came from an object that small? Imagine what some of the much bigger ones could do.
The Victim: A Person's Car
The car's owner was a 17-year-old girl, who was in her home at the time of impact. She described the noise as sounding like a car crash. When she went to investigate, she found the meteorite on her car, which she described as still warm and smelling of sulfur. Wikipedia says she later sold the vehicle to the wife of a meteorite collector, and the pieces of the rock have been put on display at many museums and collections around the world.