A meteor lit up the skies over Portland, Maine, early Tuesday morning in something that looked straight out of a science fiction movie.
The fireball was captured by a dashboard camera mounted on a Portland Police Department car. Several other views of the fireball were posted on social media.
While spectacular, fireballs like this are common, according to Mike Hankey, the operations manager at the American Meteor Society. "Debris from space hits Earth all the time," he told CNN. "The bigger the debris, the bigger the flash of light."
After seeing the video, he said it was likely a “piece of an asteroid … the size of a car.”
"These are totally harmless events and they happen every day on the planet," Hankey said. "But for an individual to see something like this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing -- just the odds of you being in the right place at the right time.
According to the AMS website, there have been many fireball sightings in the northeastern U.S.