Meteor flashes across early morning sky above Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A bright meteor flashed across the early morning sky over Southcentral Alaska Wednesday, according to reports from several residents.
Video sent in from several home security cameras to Alaska’s News Source showed a meteor blazing across the sky above Southcentral at around 5:47 a.m. Wednesday, the winter solstice, when Earth’s northern hemisphere sees its shortest day of the year.
The meteor caused a fireball that ranged in color from blue to orange to white, according to citizen reports from Anchorage and Wasilla, which were submitted to the American Meteor Society’s webpage.
Earth is currently passing through “the dusty material shed by comet 8P/Tuttle, which circles the sun in a 13.6-year orbit and is not due to return until March 2035,” according to Space.com. This annual passage produces what is known as the “Ursid meteor shower.”
According to the website, “The Ursids (sometimes also referred to as the “Umids”) are so named because they appear to fan out from the vicinity of the bright orange star Kochab, in the constellation of Ursa Minor, the Little Bear. Kochab is the brighter of the two outer stars in the bowl of the Little Dipper (the other being Pherkad), that seem to march in a circle like sentries around Polaris, the North Star. The fact that Kochab is positioned so near to the north pole of the sky means that it never sets for most viewers in the Northern Hemisphere. And since the Ursids seem to fan out from this particular region of the sky, means that you can look for these medium-speed meteors all through the night if you care to. The fact that they reach their peak during the overnight hours of Dec. 22-23 is also good news regarding the moon.”
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