Meteor reports light up phone lines, social media

1:14 PM, Feb 28, 2014   |    comments
In this image provided by the Tellus Science Museum, a Quandrantid meteor passes over Cartersville, Ga., at 5:30 a.m., EST., Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2011,. (Photo: AP)
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(USATODAY.com) - Reports of a colorful fireball dropping vertically from the sky spread like lightning via Twitter and dominated the telephone lines of the American Meteor Society Thursday night.

The AMS said it was investigating more than 200 reports of meteors late Thursday and early Friday. A majority of those reports took place shortly after 7 p.m. ET and came from Virginia and Maryland, but also from as far as Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

A caller from Fairfax, Va., described the fireball as a "momentary flash following the trail of light, but and bright and blue, which very quickly disappeared."

The caller also said, "This was the brightest shooting star I ever saw, seemed like it was coming down almost vertical."

A caller in Springdale, Md., said they thought the meteor was a flare or a fireball and that it "appeared to hit the ground."

A fireball is a meteor that is brighter than the planet venus, according to the AMS. Several thousand meteors that are fireballs take place in the Earth's atmosphere daily, the organization reports.

The society is a not-for-profit research organization based in Geneseo, N.Y.

The society asks that members of the public who see a fireball report it to them via their website.

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