Meteors explained: What happens before the flash of light?


In the past several days, multiple meteor sightings have been reported across the area and have grabbed national attention. But, did you know there is a process that takes place before you see the flash of light?

RELATED: What’s the difference between meteor, fireball and bolide

RELATED: Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Indiana night sky

“In space there are comets, asteroids and smaller obits of debris or space rock called meteoroids,” Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini said. “If these meteoroids enter the Earth's atmosphere they heat up during the trip producing a bright tail.”

RELATED: VIDEOS: Meteor spotted in Ohio, Michigan, Canada

“A meteor as bright as Venus is known as a fireball, a bolide is a big meteoroid that actually explodes when traveling through the atmosphere producing a bright flash! If any piece of the space rock actually survives the trip and lands on earth it is called a meteorite,” Zontini said.  

RELATED: Glossary: Commonly used astronomy terms

If you capture a meteor or fireball on video or find any meteorites where you live, share them on social media using the hashtag #SkyWitness7

RELATED: #SkyWitness7


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