Watch a Brilliant Fireball Light Up the Sky in This NJ Police Dash-Cam Video

When Sgt. Michael Virga went out on patrol last weekend in Hamilton, New Jersey, he wasn't expecting to see something truly out-of-this-world. But thanks to a spectacular fireball, that's exactly what the officer saw.

The fireball streaked across the early-morning sky at 3:09 a.m. EST (0809 GMT) on Saturday, Dec. 2, and Virga's vehicle dash cam recorded the dazzling sight, according to a statement from the Township of Hamilton Police Department.

"It kind of took me by surprise," Virga told NJ.com, adding that the fireball "lit up the entire sky like a lime-green streak." [Astronaut Sees Amazing Fireball from Space!]

A dazzling fireball streaks across the sky in this still from the dash-cam video of Sgt. Michael Virga, of the Township of Hamilton Police Department in New Jersey, on Dec. 2, 2017. (Image credit: Township of Hamilton Police Department)

The fireball was a bolide, a meteor that explodes in a brilliant flash as it plunges through Earth's atmosphere.

In a Twitter statement, the American Meteor Society said it received 133 separate reports from spectators who witnessed the fireball across Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Sightings were also reported from 10 other states (New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and Massachusetts) and Washington, D.C., the AMS reported

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Tariq Malik
Editor-in-Chief

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award (opens in new tab) for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast (opens in new tab) with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network (opens in new tab). To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik (opens in new tab).