NASA Catches Bright Fireballs Over the Southeast

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Early Wednesday morning, at 3:27:20 AM Eastern Time, a piece of an asteroid, about 2 feet in diameter and weighing over 100 pounds, entered Earth’s atmosphere above the Georgia/Tennessee border, just south of Cleveland. The meteor was moving northeast at 56,000 miles per hour, and began to break apart north east of Ocoee, at an altitude of 33 miles. A second, fragmentation occurred less than half a second later, at an altitude of 29 miles. NASA cameras lost track of the fireball pieces at an altitude of 21 miles, by which time they had slowed to a speed of 19,400 mph. Sensors on the ground recorded sound waves (“sonic booms”) from this event, and there are indications on Doppler weather radar of a rain of small meteoritic particles falling to the ground east of Cleveland, Tennessee.

Recorded by all six NASA cameras in the Southeast, this fireball was one of the brightest observed by the network in 5 years of operations.  From Chickamauga, Georgia, the meteor was 20 times brighter than the Full Moon; shadows were cast on the ground as far south as Cartersville.

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8 thoughts on “NASA Catches Bright Fireballs Over the Southeast

  1. Flavio Voncina

    I live in Gorizia (45.961036 13.625551) Italy and tuesday morning at 2.20 AM (GMT+2) I hear a big boom with vibrations of my terrace door: the local newspapers writing about a fireball: is the same that entered Earth’s atmosphere above the Georgia/Tennessee border?
    Best regards.

    Reply
  2. Todd

    Jen, have you tried the StarWalk app? It’s out for iPhone, possibly other formats. Great for locating and identifying planets, stars, contellations – even tracking the ISS.

    Reply
  3. Carmen

    I witnessed not a fireball but a downward jet stream from an object I couldn’t see as being a plane. It did not travel really fast, but it was pointed downward, straight downward. Maybe jsut a plane. I am Fort St. John BC Canada. i saw the stream at 10:55 am Pacific time today the 4th of Sept. Again, it may have been a plane. I saw it inthe East sky and the object that the jet stream was coming from was far away.

    Reply
  4. Flavio

    What I have to do to know what is happened over Gorizia (nord east Italy) on September 3rd 2013 tuesday morning at 2.20 AM (GMT+2): the local newspapers writing about a fireball but I wish to know more about this fact if possible.

    Reply

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