Fireball lights up Pacific Northwest skies (and webcams)

What was that flash in last night’s skies?

Westward-looking skywatchers in locales ranging from Oregon through Western Washington to British Columbia reported seeing a fireball light up the surroundings at 10:18 p.m. PT Oct. 12. And the reason we can time the event precisely is because of the timestamps on all the webcam videos that were posted to Twitter and YouTube.

“OK, that was insane,” Michael Snyder, a weather watcher at Alaska Airlines who also maintains a YouTube channel called Pacific Northwest Weather Watch, said in a tweet. “Dead center screen, there had to be others that saw that monster.”

Indeed there were. Some observers took advantage of the night-sky to indulge in a little black humor about the Mariners’ loss to the Astros in this week’s baseball postseason playoffs.

“Meteor? Satellite? That Astros homer finally returning to Earth? (Sorry),” Jack Clemens joked in a tweet.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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