Explosion, flash of light over New York might have been meteor, officials say

An explosion and flash of green light reported Sunday by more than two dozen people in Saratoga County might have been a meteor, according to multiple reports.

Around 30 calls were made to 911 around 10:45 p.m. Sunday reporting "a loud explosion that shook homes and lit the sky green," sheriff's deputies said. The calls came in from Edinburg, Providence, Galway, Greenfield, Milton and Ballston Spa, according to officials.

Sheriff Michael Zurlo told WRGB that authorities initially thought a transformer might have exploded, but he said that if that were the case, the area reports came from would have been much smaller.

"We called the FAA to see if there was any aircraft up in the air at that time but due to the weather there was nothing," Zurlo told WRGB. "We notified the West Milton naval base; they had no activity there. We called the National Weather Service to see if maybe it was thunder, lightning -- they had nothing."

Valerie Rapson, director of the Dudley Observatory at Siena College in Loudonville, told The Daily Gazette that based on reports, the explosion was likely to have been a meteor.

“It sounds like what they saw was a bolide,” Rapson told the newspaper. “It’s a large metallic rock that comes in and explodes in the atmosphere.”

She told WTEN such astral phenomena are often hard to predict and that the force of their entry into the atmosphere can cause the falling rock to break into hundreds of tiny pieces.

"People should not be nervous about this," she told WTEN. "NASA is watching for the really big meteors. There are no really big meteors that are going to hit us anytime soon."

Citing NASA, Zurlo told the news station three meteors were en route to Earth on Dec. 29, including one that reached the planet around 11 p.m. He told WTEN that it would take NASA officials a few days to determine whether a meteor caused Sunday's reported explosion.

"We're at a loss of words at this point," Zurlo told The Daily Gazette. "We had no idea where it originated from, but we're still continuing to make phone calls to try and find out what took place."

No injuries were reported.

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