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


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

‘Malcolm in the Middle’ star Frankie Muniz 5-story brownstone destroyed by cat
‘Malcolm in the Middle’ star Frankie Muniz 5-story brownstone destroyed by cat

“Malcolm in the Middle” star Frankie Muniz didn’t lose his home in the California wildfires like other celebrities did. It was his cat that inadvertently destroyed the actor’s five-story brownstone. >> Read more trending news  Muniz left for a trip to France to attend his uncle’s funeral, and when he returned...
AAA recommends car care before Thanksgiving travel
AAA recommends car care before Thanksgiving travel

AAA suggests motorist get their cars checked out and tuned up before Thanksgiving holiday travel to avoid finding themselves stranded, according to a release. "AAA recommends motorists use a simple checklist to determine their vehicle's fall and winter maintenance needs," said AAA Tire & Auto Manager Jon Bucher. "Many of the items on...
Troy Girl Scout troops pick-up trash in honor of 3 Girl Scouts killed in Wisconsin
Troy Girl Scout troops pick-up trash in honor of 3 Girl Scouts killed in Wisconsin

Several Girl Scout Troops spent Sunday afternoon outdoors picking up trash around Cookson Elementary School and Campbell Park, according to News Center 7's Northern Bureau Chief Steve Baker.  This was done in memory of the three Girl Scouts that were killed earlier this month by a pick-up truck while they were picking up roadside trash in...
Local city to stop parking meter fines during holidays
Local city to stop parking meter fines during holidays

A moratorium on fines for time-limited parking spaces in the downtown Troy historic district will be in effect during the holiday season and through the end of January. The moratorium went into effect Nov. 15, just days after it was discussed by city administrators with a city council committee. During the moratorium, discussions and study will continue...
After 73 years, World War II veteran receives medals
After 73 years, World War II veteran receives medals

On Nov. 11, World War II veteran Earl Bailey received ribbons and medals he had earned during his service but never received. The long-overdue medals ceremony for Bailey took place at his church, Tri County Assembly Church in Fairfield, on Veterans Day. Bailey’s grandson and daughter concocted a surprise party with the help of a local lawmaker...
More Stories