By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – If you happened to be up early Monday and saw a bright flash of light in the northern sky then you probably witnessed a very large meteor exploding as it entered Earth’s atmosphere.

The event happened at 3:23 a.m. and was captured by two cameras in Colorado, one mounted on the roof of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the other at the Cloudbait Observatory in Guffey.

(credit: Chris Peterson, Cloudbait Observatory, Research Associate, Denver Museum of Nature and Science)

(credit: Chris Peterson, Cloudbait Observatory, Research Associate, Denver Museum of Nature and Science)

“By combining the data from both cameras, I can determine that the fireball exploded over Cheyenne, Wyo., at a height of 105 km (roughly 65 miles),” said Chris Peterson with Cloudbait Observatory.

Peterson describes the meteor as being unusually large with a brightness similar to the full Moon and having a large breakup in mid-flight, leaving enough material to continue burning afterward.

“Usually explosions like this are terminal, completely disrupting the body and leaving nothing to continue,” said Peterson.

(credit: Chris Peterson, Cloudbait Observatory, Research Associate, Denver Museum of Nature and Science)

(credit: Chris Peterson, Cloudbait Observatory, Research Associate, Denver Museum of Nature and Science)

It’s not known if the meteor was part of the Southern Delta Aquarid meteor shower, currently in progress, or if it had a different origin.

CBS4 Photojournalist Rob McClure happened to see it and said it lasted about 10 seconds.

Peterson is looking for anyone else who witnessed the meteor. You can click here to file a report.

Meteorologist Chris Spears writes about stories related to weather and climate in Colorado. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.

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