Meteor causes huge fireball over Montana skies

A large meteor breaching Earth’s atmosphere over northeast Montana caused a huge fireball visible across the state late Wednesday night.

Astronomical observation cameras at the Montana Learning Center recorded video of the fireball at 10:33 p.m. in the northeastern part of the sky over Canyon Ferry Reservoir where the observatory is located.

“This thing was so great, traveling at 18,000 mph,” said Ryan Hannahoe, executive director of the Montana Learning Center. “The fireball from the explosion was so intense, it was much brighter than the full moon —  it literally lit up the ground.”

Observations of the fireball have been submitted to the American Meteor Society from Bigfork, Helena, Missoula and Emigrant as of Thursday afternoon.

A still frame from video captured by the Montana Learning Center of a meteor breaching Earth’s atmosphere causing a huge fireball over Montana skies Wednesday night.

Photo courtesy of the Montana Learning Center

Hannahoe also submitted the observation to the American Meteor Society and the International Meteoritical Society, where they will analyze the observation and confirm it.

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