By Alex DeMetrick


BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Tuesday night, a camera’s motion detector was triggered by a bright ball of light flying over Brooklyn Park.

It was also captured by a camera in a Prince George’s County Police police car, streaking in the same direction.

Several people reported seeing a meteor flying across the sky overnight in Maryland and DC.

Leon Gray shared footage from his Nest camera in Brooklyn Park around 11 p.m.

Steve Chazin who lives just outside DC in McLean, Virginia also tweeted video of the meteor.

A Prince George’s County police officer also captured the meteor on dash cam.

According to NASA, ” if a meteoroid comes close enough to Earth and enters Earth’s atmosphere, it vaporizes and turns into a meteor: a streak of light in the sky.”

Monday night, a dashcam in D.C. caught a similar object, both meteors, but a special kind, according to Jim O’Leary with the Maryland Science Center.

“When it gets really bright, say as bright as the planet Venus, which is really visible in the sky, it gets that bright or brighter, we can call it a fireball,” O’Leary said.

Fireballs, like one seen in Florida last month, can happen any time. But the ones over Maryland also come as the Earth is headed to its annual rendezvous with the Lyrid meteor shower.

O’Leary said it’s been going on for a long time.

“It has. This is the longest known meteor shower in recorded history. First records go back to the ancient Chinese, 500 to 600 B.C. So about 2,700 years,” O’Leary said.

And the source of the meteors is a very infrequent visitor- a comet called Thatcher, first recorded in 1861.

Its orbit around the sun takes 415 years to complete. For most of that lengthy journey, the comet is a cold lump of ice, rock and dust.

As it nears the sun, it warms and sheds debris. Every April, Earth runs into what Thatcher laid down, just as the civil war was starting.

“And every year we pass through a different part of the trail,” O’Leary said. “And these little particles of ice and rock enter our atmosphere and give us this show we call a meteor shower,”

It’ll run from now to April 25th, with the peak hitting the night of April 22.

Have you seen it? Send your photos or videos to newsroom@wjz.com or share them on social media using #BeOnWJZ.

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