The noon boom, which was heard and felt from southern Ontario to Virginia, was probably caused by a decaying meteor, according to an organization in western New York that monitors such phenomena. Witnesses across the area said they heard a boom or saw a fireball in the sky shortly after noon on Wednesday, said Robert Lunsford of the American Meteor Society in Geneseo.
As of early Thursday, the organization had recorded more than 150 reports of the fireball seen in seven countries. The group said the fireball was seen mainly in New York and Ontario, but also received messages from Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Lunsford told CBS affiliate WTVH that he thought the fireball could have been the size of a small car moving at least 1
Police and fire departments around central New York City received 911 calls reporting a boom that shook windows, but clouds prevented sightings in much of the area. Since most reports of a boom were around Syracuse, this is probably where the meteor blew to pieces, Lunsford said.
NASA’s calculation of the event shows that the fireball has completed its visible flight somewhere over Lake Cayuga, New York, the American Meteor Society reported.
On the public’s website, an observer in western New York reported that the fireball was bright white with shades of yellow. An observer in Hagerstown, Maryland, reported a fireball with red and orange sparks, smoke and a stubborn train. A report from Welland, Ontario, describes a long, bright green train.
“It’s a sunny day, so it looked like a golden metal flash against a blue sky,” said a report from Winchester, Virginia.
“Amazingly, incredibly, you’re still goosebumps talking about it,” wrote an observer in Port Dover, Ontario. “The train was blazing white, wide and long, with no smoke.”
“We tend to see fireballs more at night because they stand out better, but it’s not terribly unusually bright to be seen during the day. It happens several times a year over populated areas,” said Margaret Campbell-Brown. a member of the Meteor Physics Group at West University in London, Ontario.
All fireballs, which are bright meteors, produce sound waves, sometimes only detectable by sensitive microphones, Campbell-Brown said in an email. A large one could cause a thunderous sound boom with possible additional explosions of fragmentation, she said.
The fireball comes just days after a brightly burning meteor was seen, attracting attention on television and social media.