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Watch: Meteor Watching Over the Pacific Northwest Is Just Fascinating

A fascinating meteor fireball was seen across the sky in the Pacific Northwest yesterday, Oct. 13.

Asteroids have been a common sight in recent months with dozens of these space rocks flying past Earth at extremely short distances. But asteroids are not the only celestial bodies to have made their presence known in the sky. A meteor has recently been seen passing through the sky in the Pacific Northwest. It was visible from hundreds of miles away in Washington state, Oregon and southern British Columbia.

People who witnessed this phenomenon captured the blazing meteor through their smartphones or door cameras and submitted the images to the American Meteor Society website, according to the Weather Network. Although the timing coincided with the Draconid meteor shower, this meteor was not part of the rain visible in the sky on October 8 and 9. During the meteor shower, the Earth is hit by millions of small icy rocks that break up from the mother comet. These tiny space rocks burn up long before they can reach the surface, and what we get to see are the long streaks of fire in the sky as they burn up in the atmosphere.

What is a Meteor?

According to NASA, meteors are objects in space that enter the Earth’s atmosphere at high speed and burn, and are visible in the form of fireballs or “shooting stars”. If the meteor falls on the surface of the planet without burning up completely, it is called a meteorite.

While most meteorites found on Earth come from smaller asteroids, they may also come from nearby planets like Mars or even the moon. Scientists can tell where meteorites come from based on several lines of evidence. They can use photographic observations of meteorite falls to calculate orbits and project their paths back to the asteroid belt.

What is a meteor shower?

When meteor material falls on Earth, most of it burns up as it enters the atmosphere, leaving trails of shooting stars. According to NASA, this phenomenon is known as a meteor shower. Usually several meteors per hour can be seen on any given night. If there are many meteors, it could mean that you are witnessing a meteor shower.

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