VIDEO: Meteor lights up New England sky

Posted at 8:53 AM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 09:02:44-04

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A police sergeant looking for speeders captured a fireball streaking across the sky on his dashboard camera early Tuesday.

The bright flash visible from several states was apparently left by a meteor burning up as it passed through Earth's atmosphere. Other people and webcams also captured images of the fireball.

The American Meteor Society reported more than 400 sightings in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and parts of Canada.

Portland police Sgt. Tim Farris was parked in front of the Central Fire Station when his camera captured the meteor lighting up the sky around 12:50 a.m.

Another officer who was chatting with him, Graham Hults, was heard exclaiming, "Oh, my God!"

Based on the brightness, the object was likely a space rock somewhere between the size of a toaster and a refrigerator when it entered the atmosphere, said Geoff Chester, spokesman for the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

Webcams in Portsmouth Harbor in New Hampshire and at the Burlington International Airport in Vermont captured the fireball. Video surfaced from other sources, including another officer in Plattsburgh, New York, and a motorist on the Everett Turnpike in New Hampshire.

Some reported hearing booms.

The Maine Mineral & Gem Museum suspects the meteor crashed into the woods of northwestern Maine, based on preliminary findings. It's offering a $20,000 reward if someone recovers a piece of the meteorite weighing at least 2.2 pounds.


This story has been corrected to show the utterance of "Oh my, God" was made by another officer, not the one whose dashcam recorded the video.