SPOKANE, Wash. — Did you see it? At exactly 11:49 P.M. Thursday night, a bright meteor lit up the night sky over the Inland Northwest.
The meteor was only visible for about three or four seconds, but the scene it produced was dramatic. Home security videos shared with KREM by our viewers shows a blinding white-green light flash across the sky, almost as if it were erupting in flames, with a faint white tail tracing its path.
The light was so bright that some thought it was lightning at first.
Dozens of reports came it to both KREM and the American Meteor Society. AMS analyzes the reports and determines the flight path the meteor took.
It turns out the meteor flew over Kootenai County, including Coeur d'Alene, Spirit Lake, and Athol. Its close proximity made this event incredibly impressive for our area.
Meteors that hit Earth's atmosphere experience so much air pressure that they burn up, disintegrate, or in some cases, explode. A few people mentioned they heard a "boom" from the meteor, which would be a case of it exploded in the atmosphere. This is why it seems like lightning, especially if there was "thunder" afterwards.
The color the meteor bursts into is also an indication of the substances and elements that made up the meteor. Since green was the reported color, that means the meteor was likely rich in magnesium.
This was a brilliant and rare event for the Inland Northwest. As always, keep an eye on the skies, you might see the next meteor that passes by.