Local scientists excited about excitement over Tuesday night's fireball

Local scientists excited about excitement over Tuesday night's fireball

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Everyone was talking about it on social media Tuesday night, as a bright meteor passed overhead and exploded over Detroit. And scientists in the area are happy with the public reaction of the event.

Meteors are nothing rare, as there are thousands entering our earth's atmosphere every day. But Tuesday night's meteor was classified as a "fireball" and it is something even long time astronomers rarely see.

Fireballs that are similar in size to the one that fell Tuesday, occur around once a month, but usually over uninhabited regions or the ocean. But thanks to modern technology, last night's fireball was caught on multiple cameras.

From dashcam videos, to home surveillance, and even ODOT's highway cameras, seeing fireball is available for everyone to see.

Astronomers said all of the digital documentation is great, as it can all help in measuring the size and trajectory of the space debris.

Experts are also thrilled at the prospect of events like this stirring some extra interest in astronomy.

"It's exciting, just from the point of view that people talking about it. Making people think about astronomy, having people look up to the sky," said Alex Mak, with University of Toledo's Ritter Planetarium. "I'm sure it is very exciting for the people who are searching for the little left over fragments of it. Because a meteor of this size probably did, some of it, survived and actually hit the ground."

Mak adds that if there are meteorite fragments found, they won't hold too much scientific value, but they could fetch a price among rock collectors.

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