Alabama Fireball of August 2, 2014

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We have completed our analyses and here’s what we know:

At 10:19 PM Central Daylight Time on August 2 (Saturday night), NASA meteor cameras detected a very bright fireball at an altitude of 57 miles above Hoodoo Road just east of the town of Beechgrove, TN. The meteoroid, which was about 15 inches in diameter and weighed close to 100 lbs, travelled just over 100 miles to the south south east at 47,000 miles per hour, breaking apart in a brilliant flash of light above the Alabama town of Henagar. The cameras continued to track a large fragment until it disappeared 18 miles above Gaylesville, located near Lake Weiss close to the Georgia state line. At last sight, the fragment was still traveling at 11,000 miles per hour. Based on the meteor’s speed, final altitude, and weak doppler radar signatures, it is believed that this fireball produced small meteorites on the ground somewhere between Borden Springs, AL and Lake Weiss.

The meteoroid’s orbit has its farthest point between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, and is inclined to that of the Earth (which explains its southerly direction).

Check out the video!

The NASA Meteoroid Environment Office would like to hear from those in the area around Alabama’s Lake Weiss who may have heard sonic booms or like sounds around 10:20 PM Saturday night. Please contact Dr. Bill Cooke at william.j.cooke@nasa.gov┬áif you have reports of such.

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9 thoughts on “Alabama Fireball of August 2, 2014

  1. Tom Roberts

    I was traveling north on I-65 just south of oak mountain about a mile from hwy 119 exit. I saw a greenish blue meteor traveling from my left to right or west to east.

    Reply
  2. micheal white

    we saw a fire ball near columbus speedway in columbus mississippi saturday night aug. 2, 2014 at around 10:30PM

    Reply
  3. Ashley Y

    We were at a Phish show at Oak Mountain Ampitheater in Pelham, AL. This whole time we all thought it was a perfectly placed firework in the middle of a great song. Turns out it was something even more magical. It was white that trailed with green and blue! *Simply* amazing!

    Reply
    1. Kristine M Rainey

      Hi Ashley –
      You weren’t the only one that noticed it that night. We got a comment on our YouTube page from somebody at the same concert who also saw it!
      Thanks!

      Reply
  4. Oona Houlihan

    There’s this book “Bombs from outer space” which details the dangers and frequency of meteor(oid) impacts drastically. And we only slowly begin to realize that, because of an as yet incomplete “archeological” record of past impacts that we may have underestimated the frequency of such clashes drastically. It’s often been said that humankind would need an external threat, like an alien invasion, to stop bickering and warring. However, if aliens came from afar, it is unlikely they would have heavy armament with them for obvious reasons of energy scarcity. However, these alien invasions happen daily. Imagine that Chines firing a few rounds of ammunition each day on, say, Vietnam, or the Mexicans firing a few rounds each day into Texas! Yes, they fall mainly on the ground and do no damage – but wouldn’t they be a “casus belli”? Well, these rounds are being fired from outer space by the minute and we humans to not heed the signs!

    Reply

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