NWS meteorologist: ‘Looks like a meteor breaking up’

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The meteor as seen over Home Depot. (Contributed photo)

Another celestial phenomenon just after Thursday’s eclipse appeared Friday night over Guam’s skies.

A bright light was seen falling from the sky and the spectacle was caught on camera by island residents who shared those videos with PNC.

To get to the bottom of what the bright light was, PNC spoke with Patrick Chan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. He says they received a video taken outside Home Depot in Tamuning.

Pacific News Center on Twitter

Friday night lights may have been debris from Chinese commercial rocket. https://t.co/GWo23r43Fo https://t.co/NrG6lEsfmK

“Yes, I watched the video myself. One of our co-workers sent us a video over in the parking lot of Home Depot Guam seeing a bright light breaking up in the sky. And then Saipan also called us earlier. They saw the same image and based on the image in the video it looks like a meteorite breaking up in the sky,” Chan said.

PNC asked, so it’s a meteor? Chan responded, “yeah it’s a meteor.”

He told the Pacific News Center that it was a reasonably-sized meteor, which broke up into multiple pieces before making impact.

“Based on the distance of the sky it probably landed somewhere in the ocean in small pieces,” said Chan.

But unlike meteors depicted in movies, tonight’s celestial event won’t have an effect and according to Chan, it is a pretty quick phenomenon.

“Once the meteor enters the atmosphere of earth, because of the friction it starts to burn and that’s why you see the bright light, the meteor itself burning and if you look at the video it actually breaks up into smaller pieces earlier and as it entered further into the atmosphere it broke up into multiple pieces probably more than three. At the last minute, it kind of looks like a fireball…different bursts of lights. That’s very small pieces breaking up,” he concluded.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.