A recent video from a Bemidji, Minnesota, police officer has gone viral over the past few days, as reports suggest that the dashcam video may have likely offered a look at the Quadrantid meteor shower, as seen in the night sky in northern Minnesota.
The video was first shared on the afternoon of Thursday, January 4, on the Bemidji Police Department’s Facebook page and has received almost 61,000 views and been shared more than 1,200 times in the two days since then. In here, a meteor is clearly visible streaking through the sky, then fizzling out as it continued its descent toward Earth’s surface.
“We all know that you have been talking about the ‘bright lights’ in the sky,” wrote the Bemidji Police Department in the video’s caption.
“One of our officers captured the Quadrantid meteor shower last night.”
The Bemidji Police Department’s video of the supposed Quadrantid sighting was not the only one of its kind to claim that something interesting was happening in the sky in that part of Minnesota. As observed by the International Business Times, the actual meteor was not visible in a static camera video from the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce, but the flash of light that was captured on the clip was a clear sign that there was a meteor streaking through the sky on Wednesday night.
— Ross Torgerson (@RossTorgerson) January 4, 2018
The new video also comes less than a month after a series of purported meteor sightings in Denver were thought to be part of the yearly Geminid meteor shower. According to a report from CBS Denver, astronomers expressed doubt that the multiple “fireball” sightings in the area were part of the Geminids, as those accounts took place on the evening of December 14, several hours after the shower was expected to peak at 2 a.m.
As noted by Space.com earlier this week, this year was not considered to be a good one to view the Quadrantid meteor shower, due to the fact that its peak of Wednesday, January 3, came right after the full moon that kicked off the new year. With the recent full moon being the largest and brightest expected to shine this year, the moon’s dazzling light was predicted at that time to be capable of outshining almost all of the Quadrantid meteors, except the very brightest ones.
— SPACE.com (@SPACEdotcom) January 3, 2018
Although the Quadrantid meteor shower’s peak has come and gone, skygazers still have at least a few more days to catch some meteors in the sky, as the annual event is expected to run until January 17. Separately, a report from NASA suggests that the Quadrantids will likely be active until next Friday, January 12.