Police Sergeant Tim Farris was patrolling the streets of Portland, Maine early Tuesday morning when he caught a very different kind of speeder on his dashboard camera – a meteor.
Meteors are small grains of interplanetary debris that smack into our atmosphere at breakneck speeds and burn up, streaking through the night sky like shooting stars.
As Earth orbits through the tail of Halley’s Comet, it produces a meteor shower called the Eta Aquarids, which we are currently in the midst of. The meteors can reach speeds of over 40 miles per second – that would be one nasty speeding ticket.
When a meteor is so bright that it outshines the rest of the sky, it’s called a fireball. Fireballs are created when the debris is either larger than normal, or moving at incredibly fast speeds.
This particular meteor was so bright it lit up the entire New England sky. It was reported by witnesses in several northeastern US states as well as parts of Canada. You can watch dashcam footage of the fireball below: