There's nothing quite like seeing a massive fireball burn through the night's sky. Much bigger and brighter than a shooting star, these dramatic meteors tend to catch onlookers' attention.
One recent fireball that blazed over Iowa and surrounding states, caused hundreds of wowed residents to call in the sighting to the American Meteor Society. The meteor appeared on December 26 around 5:45 p.m. local time. More than 1,200 people reported the sighting, making it the third most reported fireball in the history of the society's online reporting system.
The fireball was caught on tape by a security camera at the public works facility in North Liberty, Iowa. In the black-and-white video, the meteor can be seen from several different angles as it shines through the sky and at times illuminates the houses and roads below.
Earlier this month marked the annual Geminid meteor shower, which is the most vivid of all showers. The Geminid light show is typically full of fireballs, along with more than 100 meteors per hour. This year, the shower kicked off on December 4 and peaked on December 13 and 14.
Here is a heat map that shows where people were when they reported seeing the most recent fireball over Iowa: