WATCH: Massive Fireball Meteor Lights Up Portland Sky [Videos]

First Posted: May 23, 2016 04:59 AM EDT

Clips of a huge fireball brightening Portland's night sky have recently surfaced. The event took place on Tuesday, May 17, and could also be viewed over other areas of US.

The American Meteor Society received around 700 reports from people who had viewed the fireball event over the northeastern part of US, including the areas of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and even parts of Canada.

"You never know what you are going to see on duty," said the Facebook status of the Portland Maine Police Department. "Sgt. Farris was looking for speeders while parked in front of the central fire station and was able to observe some visitors 'from away' ... far away."

Meteors that are extremely bright are known as fireball or bolide. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) explains a fireball as a meteor which is brighter than any of the planets. The definition indicates that a fireball needs to have a magnitude of -4 or greater. Incidentally, magnitude refers to the measurement of brightness in astronomical terms. The sun apparently has a magnitude of -27 and the brightest visible star in the night sky, Sirius, has a -1.5 magnitude. The moon has a magnitude of -13 when it is going through its full phase, and the International Space Station (ISS) has a brightness of -6.

The fireball seen over Portland reportedly ended up as two different objects in the sky, indicating that the original meteoroid probably broke apart before entering the atmosphere of our planet, and burning up as two disconnected meteors. The fireball did not cause any damage, however it did leave quite an impression the people who were fortunate enough to see it. According to reports, many took to updating their Facebook and Twitter accounts, which were unanimous in saying the event was unlike anything experienced before.

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