Dash cam captures meteor speeding through Thursday's sky - CBS 5 - KPHO

Dash cam captures meteor speeding through Thursday's sky

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A dash cam video shows the meteor speeding through the sky that so many people called and emailed KCTV5 about Thursday night.

The meteor zipped through the sky just at nightfall Thursday. A Missouri Highway Patrol trooper traveling on Highway 65 south of Sedalia, MO, spotted it and hit the record button on his dash cam that automatically records the last 30 seconds.

The video shows how big and low the meteor looked, but it can't do justice to seeing the thing firsthand.

"Like neon green, like a laser-pointer green, like bright green, big ball with a big tail of sparks or whatever flying out behind it, it was neat," said Eagle Scout T.J. Howard.

When Howard happened to glimpse it, he flashed back to trips to Powell Observatory with his Boy Scout troop, opening his eyes to the night sky.

"We had overnights there where we would stay the night there and, you know, stay up all night looking at stars and looking at different galaxies and planets and stuff," he said.

The Eagle Scout hopes seeing images like it will make kids today pause and look up.

"There's so much more up there than there is down here that we all take for granted. You know it's above us every day, every night and we forget it's even there sometimes," Howard said.

Experts say meteors like Thursday's aren't so rare, but seeing them is, because the meteors usually don't pass over densely populated areas, especially on a clear night.

Thursday's popped up with no warning.

Howard said people will never see one if they don't take the time to look.

"It was a crystal clear sky last night, I think it's supposed to be clear tonight too so if people have the time or the chance, they should take advantage of the rare opportunity," he said.

Experts say the meteor was probably stone, iron or ice fragments no bigger than a tennis ball, but maybe as small as a pea. When it passes through the earth's atmosphere, the temperature changes and that's what makes it glow and flame and catch so much attention.

Experts also say there's a good chance for seeing a meteor shower Thursday night, overnight into Friday morning.

If it's a clear night, Powell Observatory in Louisburg, KS, may open its doors to let people check it out from there.

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