Fireball in the sky? Video shows bright flash over Raleigh

Posted July 17, 2014
Updated July 18, 2014

— Was that a fireball in the sky? WRAL News began getting reports of a bright flash of light over Raleigh and other parts of North Carolina on Thursday night.

Dan Perjar, a software developer at North Carolina State University, captured the apparent fireball on his car's dashcam at 10:17 p.m. as he drove on Interstate 440 in Raleigh. The four-second video shows a quick flash of light hurtling towards the ground.

NASA Solar System Ambassador and WRAL contributor Tony Rice viewed the video.

"Looking at that dashcam video it looked pretty low on the horizon. That flash may have been it breaking up," Rice posted on Twitter.

WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson says the American Meteor Society received more than three dozen fireball reports from North Carolina up to New Jersey and Pennsylvania on its fireball log Thursday night.


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  • sweet D Jul 18, 2014

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    Actually, it was a meteor. It does not become a meteorite until some part of it makes contact with the surface of the earth.

  • Tony Rice Jul 18, 2014
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    @BIGBROKEBILL Funny you should mention, the Antares rocket used to lift the Cygnus resupply craft to the ISS is expected to come down on Sunday but not anywhere near us, over a very big body of water.

  • Cary Reader Jul 18, 2014

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    Now that's funny.

  • snowl Jul 18, 2014

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    Yes, CBS Morning News mentioned it happening in Raleigh, NC......slow news day....I prefer!

  • Christopher Byrne Jul 18, 2014
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    I agree, DEB1003. The unpolluted night sky is a beautiful thing. To think our anscestors navigated by it, hunted by it, planted by it, harvested by it, celebrated it. Those of us that take the time to appreciate it are blessed.

  • busyb97 Jul 18, 2014

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    Because these sort of events arent quite the same as a "shooting star" which obviously is NOT a star. We call them shooting stars because they are so far up in the sky, that they appear no bigger than the other stars. THIS type of shooting meteorite is a bigger deal because whatever it was got a lot closer to the earth or was a lot bigger than the things you see most nights. When YOU see one like these "fireballs", you will understand the difference....after your heart restarts that is.

  • bigredtruckman Jul 18, 2014

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    Interestingly, it is theorized that much of the dihydrogen monoxide on the earth came from impacts with meteors. The effects of this substance are numerous and it is responsible for many deaths. It permeates every living being on the Earth. There's no way to escape it.

  • Lightfoot3 Jul 18, 2014

    "I guess "contrails" are supposed to stay in the sky all day now. Why are they different from contrails of the past that only showed for a few minutes then dissipated?" - mrdublove

    The government changed the formula of the chemicals back in the late 70s, early 80s. They found that the original mixture was being dissipated too quickly by high altitude winds. By the time it reached the ground, the concentration was too diluted to have any effect. Now they are mixed with a heavier version of Dihydrogen Monoxide such that they stay together longer in the upper atmosphere, and then reach their intended targets in higher concentrations.

  • Deb Rodgers Jul 18, 2014
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    I can't believe that sooo many people haven't seen a falling/shooting star. When I wake early in the morning, I make my coffee and take it outside and watch our night sky. This occurrence, shooting stars, happens quite often. It's a wonderful sight every time I see one, and I always make a wish on that shooting star. :) Are people so surrounded by light they don't see it, or are they just holed up in their home constantly?

  • mrdublove Jul 18, 2014

    I guess "contrails" are supposed to stay in the sky all day now. Why are they different from contrails of the past that only showed for a few minutes then dissipated?