Great balls of fire: Celestial spectacle lights up Maritime skies
Published Thursday, March 6, 2014 6:39PM AST
Last Updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 7:28PM AST
Eyes were drawn to the skies Wednesday evening as Maritimers from Digby to Minto to Antigonish reported seeing a fireball streaking across the sky.
Halifax resident Trevor Stevenson says he was watching TV when a bright flash caught his eye.
“As I was watching TV I saw a green, I don’t know what you’d call it, a green light go across the sky and it looked really close, like, right outside our balcony door,” says Stevenson.
“It was green like when you see fireworks at Canada Day, Natal Day, it was that vibrant green colour, which is why I thought it might have been a firework.”
According to a website that tracks reports of meteor or fireball sightings, Stevenson wasn’t the only Maritimer to spot the celestial spectacle. Reports were filed from southwest Nova Scotia to parts of New Brunswick, all describing a bright light in the sky around 10 p.m.
Emma MacPhee with the Royal Astronomy Society of Canada says she chalks the sightings up to space dust.
“The little meteors that we see in the sky, that you can see a flash of two or three seconds that look very bright, they’re just little dust, like a grain of sand,” she explains.
According to NASA, the fireball is debris from Asteroid 2014 DX110 that passed between the earth and the moon Wednesday afternoon.
MacPhee says Maritimers are perfectly situated to see asteroids or meteors, especially on clear nights.
“Less humidity in the air, less interference with the higher atmospheric winds, it would certainly be a lot nicer to look at,” says MacPhee.
Those who missed Wednesday’s spectacle could still be in luck. Another asteroid is expected to make a closer pass to earth Thursday evening.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis