Pittsburgh (AP) – Lightning that lit up the skies over parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio in the wee hours of Wednesday was probably an accidental meteor, said an expert.
Many social media users around the Pittsburgh area reported seeing a strip of fireball shortly after 4 p.m. She remained in the sky for a moment before disappearing from view.
A security camera at a property owned by Mark and Rosemary Sassala in New Lyme, Ohio, northwest of Pittsburgh, captured a brief, bright flash, partially obscured by clouds around 4:20 p.m.
The American Meteor Society, a non-governmental group, said it had received more than 200 reports of a bright fireball over eastern Ohio. Robert Lunsford, a public servant, said the fireball was most likely a random meteor that was not associated with a known meteor shower.
An object the size of a softball is needed to create a flash as bright as a full moon, Lunsford said. The site was probably slightly larger, Lunsford said, but more analysis will be needed to determine its size.
The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh said it was aware of the reports, but had no information. Staff at the Allegheny Observatory at the University of Pittsburgh did not comment immediately.