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Editorial: Up in the sky! A tweeteor meteor

A bright flash of light, top center, streaks

A bright flash of light, top center, streaks across the early-evening sky in what experts say was almost certainly a meteor coming down in Seaford, Del. (Mar. 22, 2013) Credit: AP/Hopkins Automotive Group

As a meteor lit up the night sky on the East Coast on Friday, witnesses from Maine to North Carolina used Twitter and Facebook to document it.

Last month a meteor did strike Russia, so the possibility of a similar event could evoke fear. Instead, following the trajectory of Friday's fireball became something of a community event across several states.

People snapped pictures and recorded video of the object -- which NASA said was as bright as a full moon and about a yard in diameter -- and uploaded them to the Web. Others, initially worried, were reassured by fellow onlookers that there was no cause for alarm. Such boulder-sized asteroids come into contact with the Earth about 100 times a year, but the phenomena are not usually observable.

Since the meteor, which ultimately landed in the Atlantic Ocean, was explained so quickly, excitement more than anxiety seemed to dominate. Web user @LAGilman tweeted: "That was either the lowest-flying meteorite I've ever seen, or a firefly with serious afterburners."

Should it happen again, just make sure you're looking up from cyberspace and into the sky.


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