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Colorado Meteor Explosion in Morning Skies

Colorado Meteor Explosion in Morning Skies

Those awake during the earliest hours of Monday morning in Colorado may have seen a large flash of light in the sky. The light was the result of a large meteor burning up as it hit Earth’s atmosphere. With such brightness, reports are comparing the Colorado meteor to that of a fireball in the sky.

Meteor Explosion Captured by Cameras

The phenomenon was fittingly captured by cameras at Cloudbait Observatory and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (below).

Colorado Meteor Explosion Captured by Museum Camera

Credit: Chris Peterson, Cloudbait Observatory, Research Associate, Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Occurring at 3:23 a.m., both camera’s data is being combined to provide more insight. “…I can determine that the fireball exploded over Cheyenne, Wyoming, at a height of 105 km,” said Chris Peterson of Cloudbait Observatory. Peterson compares the large explosion’s brightness to that of the full Moon.

Typically, meteors hit our atmosphere and the entire object burns up. However, this meteor was abnormally large and broke apart in mid-flight, allowing debris to continue burning after impact. Due to this size and flight, the vivid light show occurred in the morning skies, lasting around 10 seconds.

Not Your Typical Meteor

It may surprise many to know that typically, shooting stars are not caused by large objects. In fact, most shooting stars that we witness in the sky are the result of a meteor fragment around the size of a grain of sand. Though, a rare display like Monday’s meteor are likely thousands of these grain-sized objects.

Researchers are not certain if the meteor was part of the Southern Delta Aquarid show, currently active this month. However, Peterson believes it is more likely a random isolated occurrence.

Reporting the Meteor

Peterson is seeking information from anybody who may have seen or captured this event. Reports on this meteor can be filed with Cloudbait Observatory here. Since few cameras captured the event and Cloudbait’s cameras were obscured by clouds, Peterson is hungry for any further information.