Early on Thursday morning, landscape photographer Yuichi Takasaka was leading an Aurora photography tour in Yellowknife when, at exactly 2:13 a.m., he saw a huge fireball light up the night sky. "It got so bright that I had to close my eyes like someone used electric flash in front of me," he wrote on Spaceweather.com. "A few minutes later, we could hear the huge explosion from the direction... the fireball fell. What an exciting night!!!"
Takasaka shared the amazing sight in a series of Tweets:
Peter Brown, a physics professor at Western University in London, inspected the photos and told Canadian Press that the fireball was an exploding meteor that was likely less than one metre in size. He said it had probably penetrated deep into the atmosphere before finally burning up, and that the explosive force was probably not enough to cause any real damage (unlike the 20-metre Chelyabinsk meteor which exploded over the skies in Russia last year and injured more than 1,000).
You can see high-resolution photos of the fireball on Spaceweather.com.
Coincidentally, yesterday also saw a fireball over the skies of central New Mexico. "It was brighter than the full moon and shook houses from its sonic boom," Thomas Ashcraft, who operates a private observatory near Sante Fe, reported on Spaceweather.com. Here's what he saw: