Suspected Meteor Blazes Across New England

Dec 27, 2017

People in New Hampshire and surrounding states spotted a suspected meteor streaking across the sky Tuesday night.

The American Meteor Society has received more than 200 reports of the suspected meteor, with sightings from western Connecticut to Bangor, Maine. People report seeing a streak of light blaze up the sky around 6pm Tuesday, some for as long as seven-seconds.

Images captured in Portsmouth shows a brilliant white tail of light-- a suspected interplanetary chunk of debris-- zipping over the Piscataqua.

“For a huge group of people across a swath of the U.S. to see all the same one is a little less likely, but they do happen regularly,” says Mike DiPompeo, a postdoctoral research associate in the astronomy department at Dartmouth College.

DiPompeo says the suspected meteor is likely a chunk of rock created 4.5 billion years ago during the formation of the solar system. Given its relatively small size, he doubts any of the rock would have survived the intense heat and landed on Earth.

While the sighting may be commonplace for astronomers, DiPompeo says the collective experience still offers benefits.

“One of the things that is missing from people’s lives is a connection with the night when things like this happen, that get people interested in what’s going on above them...I think that is really amazing, that we get a chance to see those kinds of things.”