As per the latest reports, a dazzling fireball was caught by the lens of a Police dashcam in New Jersey area on December 2. Usually, polish dash cams are used to collect evidence at the time of traffic stops. But, during December 2 midnight, the dashcam of New Jersey police officer captured a unique thing.
The camera captured a flashing fireball, mostly believed to be a meteor that lit up the night sky. The Township of Hamilton Police Department posted the video of the captured fireball on its Facebook Page. On December 2, 2017, at 3:09 am, Sgt. Michael Virga was on patrol when his vehicle dashcam caught a fireball in the sky, said the department. Sharing his experience of witnessing the fireball through the dashcam, Virga told, “It kind of took me by surprise. I just saw a little blip — it lit up the entire sky like a lime green streak.”
The fireball event was later confirmed by the American Meteor Society (AMS), and it informed that it was indeed a meteor. The society also revealed that it received around 146 reports along the east coast about the fireball event and informed that the fireball was mainly visible from Pennsylvania. Other states like Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington DC also witnessed the fireball event, as per the AMS.
The AMS also revealed the estimated trajectory taken by the fireball and said that the fireball was traveling Northeast to the Southwest, vanishing somewhere around New Buffalo, Pennsylvania. Mike Hankey, AMS Operations Manager, said to 6abc Action News that the meteor was unusually bright. “I could tell how fast it was going and that it was most likely a cometary fireball because of the speed, and then we traced back the path, and it intersected with Gemini, which is the parent radiant of the Geminid meteor shower,” stated Hankey.
The New Jersey police station further revealed more information about meteor and bolides and said, “AMS states a fireball is another term for a very bright meteor or about the same brightness of the planet Venus as seen 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.” The latest fireball event took place at a time when the spectacular and bright Geminid meteor showers are expected to occur from Dec 4 to Dec 23. The Geminids will be at their peak from December 13 late evening to December 14 early morning.