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Blue Fireball Caught on Camera over Colorado

More than 40 people reported seeing a brilliant Fireball over Colorado early Sunday. The American Meteor Society catalogued more than 40 reports across three states, largely in the Denver area, around 4:30 a.m. CDT.Observers saw the Meteor at least as far south as Santa Fe, New Mexico; the two cities are separated by roughly 400 miles. A resident in Evergreen reported that the flash was so bright that it charged his solar-powered lights.

A robotic astronomical observatory in the Colorado Rockies, called the Cloudbait Observatory, captured the streak on its cameras and even many doorbell cameras in Colorado spotted the flash. Fireball result from somewhat larger meteors, dust fragments from space that strike the Earth’s atmosphere at high speeds. Rarely a meteor makes it down to the ground, and such pieces are called meteorites.

NASA said there is no report of meteorites from this Colorado Fireball, although local scientists are watching and asking the public to report anything they find.  People must not touch if they suspect meteors with bare hands so as not to contaminate them, as oils and microbes on your skin can degrade the space rock.

Peterson estimated the Fireball broke up around 10 miles to 16 km to 32 km above the ground, a relatively low altitude compared with the typical bright flash at around 97 km to 113 km. Fireball can enter the atmosphere at speeds far exceeding the sound barrier between 25,000 and 160,000 mph.

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