Plunging fireball seen over Anchorage ahead of Ursid meteor shower peak

A number of residents of Alaska spotted a fireball dropping through the sky in the early hours of Dec. 21, 2022, during the annual Ursid meteor shower, according to the American Meteor Society.

Brian Brettschneider, a climatologist, posted video from a Nest home security camera on Twitter showing the glowing fireball streaking against the sky and vanishing from view behind some houses. Brettschneider wrote that the camera was pointed north and the video was captured at 5:47 a.m. Wednesday. 

The American Meteor Society was reviewing a report on the sighting.

Meteors slow down and heat up when entering the atmosphere. Fireballs are "exceptionally bright" meteors that can be seen over a very wide area, according to NASA. These meteors can be bigger than a meter. 

"In front of it, a bow shock develops where atmospheric gases are compressed and heated. Some of this energy is radiated to the object causing it to ablate, and in most cases, to break apart," NASA's Ceter for Near Earth Object Studies states on its website. "Objects causing fireballs are usually not large enough to survive passage through the Earth's atmosphere intact, although fragments, or meteorites, are sometimes recovered on the ground."

The Ursid meteor shower, which is visible in the Northern Hemisphere from Dec. 13–24, peaks on Dec. 22, the American Meteor Society said.

This story was produced from New York City with Storyful.