What would you do if you were driving along in the dead of night and a massive fireball streaked across the sky? Would you slam on your brakes, say a brief prayer, and prepare for the end of days? It’s safe to assume plenty of people would do just that, but police Sgt Michael Virga isn’t like most of us. Virga, upon spotting the intimidating the intimidating, flaming space rock, simply kept on driving.
The sergeant spotted the impressive sight at around 3am on Sunday while patrolling near Hamilton Township in New Jersey, and thankfully for the rest of us, he had his dash cam rolling. The video is a real treat, and while it can’t possibly compare to seeing the fireball with your own eyes, it’ll still fill you with a mix of fear and awe.
“Sgt. Michael Virga was on patrol when his vehicle dashcam caught a fireball in the sky,” the Township of Hamilton Police Department says on its Facebook page. “The event was confirmed by the American Meteor Society (AMS) who received numerous reports along the east coast for this event.”
Virga explains that the fireball (obviously) surprised him when it appeared in the pitch black night sky. He describes the object as “a lime green streak” which he says lit up the entire sky for a brief moment before fizzling out.
The meteor, which was confirmed by the American Meteorological Society, was spotted by well over 100 people. The group says that the reports flooded in immediately after the fireball appeared.
Very nice! We received 133 reports about this event so far (https://t.co/wUGMLVrfGB )
— AMSMETEORS (@amsmeteors) December 7, 2017
The group says the meteor was a bolide, which is the name given to large meteors which detonate in the atmosphere before reaching the ground. The object is not thought to have caused any damage to people or structures, though it likely gave at least a few people a brief fright.
This event comes just days after a similar sighting a bit farther south, where Florida residents spotted a fireball on the horizon which is thought to have disintegrated, with its remains falling into the ocean many miles off the southern coast. NASA reported seeing the object as well, and it was also captured on various dashcams and security cameras.