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Originally posted by Terapin
This weekend coincided with the oldest known regularly occurring annual meteor showers. It peaked Saturday but we are still passing through the edges of it. It would be no surprise at all to have a meteor light up the sky during this event.
A brilliant green fireball streaked over New England last night, Sunday, April 24th, at about 8 pm EDT. What was it? Probably a small asteroid, sofa-sized or so, breaking up in Earth's atmosphere. Such space rocks hit Earth frequently, but they are seldom observed because they appear, e.g., during the day or over uninhabited ocean. This one, unlike most, broke up over a densely populated area during the dark of evening while many people were still awake to see it.
Contrary to some reports, the fireball was not a Lyrid meteor. The radiant of the Lyrid meteor shower was below the horizon at the time. Nor was it the Soyuz space capsule returning to Earth from the International Space Station. The Soyuz landed in Asia about three hours before the fireball appeared.