Fireball lights up the skies over Seattle

Corey Clarke’s webcam captured the flash of a meteor. (Courtesy of Corey Clarke via Twitter)

It’s cool to see a fireball — but even cooler to capture it on video. At least that’s the way Seattle engineer/photographer Corey Clarke sees it.

Clarke’s webcam happened to be pointing in the right direction to record the fireball’s flash through wispy clouds at around 11 p.m. PT Monday night. His day job at ServiceNow focuses on hardware reliability, but he’s also a photographer who specializes in wildlife shots, landscapes and views of the night sky.

What’s better than seeing a fireball? Capturing it on video! Here’s one from last night in Seattle (16 Jan 2023)#wawx #astronomy #fireball #meteor #seattle @amsmeteors @KIRO7Seattle @MorganKIRO7 @komonews @ShannonODKOMO pic.twitter.com/X8YcgDK3fN

— Corey Clarke (@clarkec03) January 17, 2023

Other Western Washington residents traded reports of sightings:

Um, hi. Did anyone else in #Seattle see what looked like a massive green meteor burn up over Lake Union around 11:02pm PT tonight? We saw it from Queen Anne and it looked like the biggest, most unbelievable shooting star I’ve ever seen! @KSeattleWeather

— Samantha Kruse (@samkruser) January 17, 2023

Yes! My wife spotted it and we were able to get it on our dash cam (upper right) ☄️ pic.twitter.com/4frOudGsvU

— Daniel Cohen (@cannydohen) January 17, 2023

YES! That’s it. So so cool! We were on our roof with no cameras/phones and just stared at each other, like .. “what the hell was that?” Such an awesome thing to see!

— Samantha Kruse (@samkruser) January 17, 2023

My boyfriend said I was going crazy!! Even took a note of the time 🤣 So nice to be validated pic.twitter.com/LaafyS8RSt

— SomeGirl (@slm_8907) January 17, 2023

Perhaps the craziest thing about the sightings is that the Pacific Northwest’s typically cloudy winter skies were actually clear enough to see the fireball.

Such fireworks flash when a piece of space debris streaks through the upper layers of the atmosphere and explodes. The increasing prevalence of dashcams and home security webcams has made it more likely that fireballs leave a digital record. Last October, for example, a huge fireball generated buzz across a swath of territory ranging from Oregon to British Columbia.

But in the grand scheme of things, such events aren’t all that rare: A website associated with the American Meteor Society typically gets scores of fireball reports every day — and if you saw Monday night’s flash, you can add your report to the list.

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