Meteor Seen By Hundreds, Caught On Camera (Video)

| by Michael Howard
Meteor over Portsmouth, NHMeteor over Portsmouth, NH

Hundreds of people from across the New England region reported seeing a meteor shoot through the night sky in the early morning hours of May 17. A number of police officers and residents managed to capture the fireball on video (below).

"The meteor (or alien spaceship) was caught on camera at approximately 0050 hours [12:50 a.m.]. Let's hope the visitors are friendly," the Portland Maine Police Department posted to Facebook, according to CBS News.

"Most meteors that you see are usually a grain of sand or something really small burning up because they make a big ball of air around them," Bobby Farlice-Rubio of Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium said, according to WCAX. "Bolide is actually something large, big enough to burn for a long period of time and then it usually, depending on its contents, will explode in midair."

Mike Hankey, operations manager at the American Meteor Society, said the meteor was about five feet in diameter and weighed 13,000 pounds before it exploded over Maine, reports the Boston Globe. Scientists say it was traveling at 38,900 mph at an altitude of 52 miles.

The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum issued a statement, offering a $20,000 reward for anyone who recovers and turns in a piece of the meteor weighing at least 1 kilogram, or 2.2 pounds.

"Based on hundreds of eyewitness accounts collated and analyzed by the American Meteor Society, it's clear that the meteoroid entered Earth's atmosphere over Maine and its terminal explosion occurred about 30 km west of Rangeley, Maine, in Franklin County," the museum wrote, according to CBS News.

"As far as fireball observations go, this one was huge," they added.

Farlice-Rubio compared the meteor to the one observed over Russia in 2013.

"If it was as big as the one in Russia, that one was 60 tons of material that was shattered into thousands of pieces, so perhaps something big enough to see would be on the ground," he said.

The meteor could be witnessed from New Jersey all the way up to Nova Scotia, reports CBS News. 

Sources: CBS News, Boston Globe, WCAX / Photo credit: Mike McCormack/ via Boston Globe, News365/YouTube

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