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Fireballs dash across the sky every day in different parts of the world. Image Credit: Twitter/Capital Weather Gang

Washington: Just before 9:30 p.m. Sunday, a dazzling meteor darted across the sky in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, stunning eyewitnesses. The meteor followed a record hot day in the Washington, D.C., area and other parts of the Mid-Atlantic but was unrelated to any weather phenomena.

It is probable that the meteor - or rock from space that entered Earth's atmosphere - was a fireball, or particularly bright meteor. It was seen as far south as Richmond and as far north as New York, according to reports on X, previously known as Twitter.

Travis Hare described it on X as "an absolutely amazing green fireball sparking through the eastern sky!"

"I saw it in Metuchen, New Jersey. It was bright green! One of the coolest things I've ever seen," tweeted Collin Gross.

As the meteor passed through the atmosphere, it appeared to burn up - emitting a glowing, bright light before it developed a green tail.

Based on video of the event, it appears that fireball may have become a bolide, which is "a special type of fireball which explodes in a bright terminal flash at its end, often with visible fragmentation," according to the American Meteor Society.

The society, which encourages eyewitnesses to post reports of meteors on its website, also received dozens of reports, the bulk of them from Maryland and Pennsylvania but also several from the District, Virginia, New Jersey and New York.

Many eyewitnesses said the fireball passed silently but others said they heard a boom.

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A meteor lights up the night sky in Turkey's Gumushane Province. Image Credit: Reuters

The sightings in the Mid-Atlantic come just a day after a fireball awed sky watchers in Erzurum, Turkey.

Fireballs dash across the sky every day in different parts of the world, many over the ocean where they are never seen. Sunday night's fireball in the Mid-Atlantic is not an uncommon event.

"Several thousand meteors of fireball magnitude occur in the Earth's atmosphere each day. The vast majority of these, however, occur over the oceans and uninhabited regions, and a good many are masked by daylight," the American Meteor Society explains. "Those that occur at night also stand little chance of being detected due to the relatively low numbers of persons out to notice them."