Recently, Wes Eisenhauer set out to capture a night scene of the Milky Way. Upon review, he discovered that he got a bit more than he bargained for. A few frames into this video, you see a fireball explode like a puff of smoke over the Earth.
What is a fireball? It sounds terrifying, but they are actually quite harmless. They are simply objects burning up in the atmosphere that are brighter than the standard meteor (yes, fireballs are still meteors). To bridge the gap between a bright meteor and a dim fireball, NASA has designated a “fireball” as being a meteor with a visual magnitude in excess of -3. For the most part, even meteors that are bright enough to be classed as fireballs aren’t large enough to make it through the Earth’s atmosphere intact.
The video was shot on October 16th, 2014 outside of Custer, South Dakota.