Seen over US and Canada, dazzling meteor is caught on camera

Image courtesy of the UTSC Observatory.

Image courtesy of the UTSC Observatory.  (UTSC Observatory/Prof. Hanno Rein)

A dazzling streak of light in the sky caused by a meteor on Tuesday night was caught on camera by the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) Observatory.

Over 500 reports about the bright fireball reached the American Meteor Society from Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, and several other states. The AMS estimates that the meteor had a trajectory that took it from south to north over Pennsylvania and New York and that it occured around 10:36 pm EDT on Tuesday.

“I think the @UTSCObservatory just recorded its first meteor! #fireball #toronto” the observatory wrote on their Twitter account on Tuesday night. 

The observatory also posted a timelapse video showing the meteor streak quickly through sky, as well as a still image of the fireball’s streak.

"Judging from the brightness of the meteor, it was roughly softball size, maybe a little larger," Hanno Rein, an assistant professor and astronomer at the University of Toronto, told in an email. "It broke up ~[19 miles] up in the atmosphere."

The fire in the sky reportedly even prompted plane crash concerns in Toronto, although the event was indeed only a meteor, the AMS said.