WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WFMY) – Did you see it? A bright shooting star streaking across the sky Tuesday night.
That’s exactly what Chris Mattingly caught on his dashcam while driving along Silas Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem.
The very bright meteors are also called “fireballs” since they light up the sky. Meteors appear as a streak of fire in the sky while entering the atmosphere from space. WFMY News 2’s Chief Meteorologist Tim Buckley said the Orionid Meteor Shower peaked this weekend, so this is likely tied to that meteor shower.
Folks around the Piedmont, and as far away as Charlotte, also reported seeing this extra bright shooting star. Some noted it had a green tint to the tail.
"The Orionid meteors are debris left behind by Comet Halle,” one of the most famous of all comets, Deborah Byrd of Earthsky.org.
At its peak, about 15-20 meteors per hour was expected to be visible.
The Orionids are some of the fastest and brightest among meteor showers because the Earth is hitting the stream of particles almost head-on, according to Space.com. How fast? Most zip by at 41 miles per second, which translates to about 148,000 mph.
If the meteors originate from Halley's, why are they called the Orionids? "Meteors in annual showers are named for the point in our sky from which they appear to radiate," according to Byrd. "The radiant point for the Orionids is in the direction of the famous constellation Orion the Hunter."