Bright flash across the area Sunday evening

By: Chelsea Priest


A mysterious light flashed through the sky Sunday night, maybe you saw it? Reports of a green and white, sparking light came pouring in across New England, but what exactly was that bright flash?

Wrigley Bynum said his friends called him crazy, “I had people telling me, oh, you're nuts!” He wasn't sure what he saw from his Charlestown deck flying through the sky. He goes on, “I thought maybe it was an aircraft, a shooting star at first, it didn't burn out at first like a shooting star, so then thought maybe it was a plane or something going down but it didn't have flames just a long tail.”


But Bynum wasn't the only one who saw the bright green and white flash, in fact 188 reports came into the American Meteor Society from Philadelphia all the way up to Maine.


Michael Umbricht is the Curator of the Ladd Observatory at Brown University. He explains, “Basically this was a type of meteor that is sometimes called a fireball because it is so bright.”


The Observatory records just about every night with their sky camera. Unfortunately timing Sunday wasn't in their favor. Due to the meteor passing during twilight, the sky was still too bright and they weren't able to catch it.


This “fireball” wasn't part of a meteor shower, it was a sporadic meteor. Sporadic meteors aren't that unusual (the last one recorded on film at the Ladd Observatory was about two years ago), but this one was a bit special. Umbricht goes on, “this one happened to be much brighter than the ordinary ones so that's a little rare.”


The flash lasted only a few seconds around 5:20PM.


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