Social media lit-up on the evening of June 6 as an apparent fireball was spotted in the Mid Atlantic. According to the American Meteor Society (AMS), a fireball is another term for a very bright meteor, generally brighter than magnitude -4, which is about the same magnitude of the planet Venus in the morning or evening sky. A bolide is a special type of fireball which explodes in a bright terminal flash at its end, often with visible fragmentation. Users went to Twitter to post their #meteor or #fireball experience.
The American Meteor Society received 28 reports from the Mid Atlantic of the fireball. Those that saw it are encouraged to complete an online form on their website here to describe what they saw and when they saw it. But they caution different things -not- to report. “Please don’t report sightings that lasted more than 30 seconds…don’t report recurring events…(and) don’t report slow blinking objects or lights crossing the sky going by 2 or 3,” the AMS website posts. The vast majority of fireballs are only visible for a few seconds, seeing a fireball is extremely rare and often a once in a lifetime event, and typically looks like a big shooting star.