73X Faster Than a Speeding Bullet!

On the night of Nov. 17, 2011, NASA cameras captured two super-fast views of Leonid meteors. The first video below shows a Leonid from a NASA camera operated in Tullahoma, Tenn. Moving 73 times faster than a bullet fired from an M-16 rifle, the three-quarter inch meteor first started to burn up 71 miles above the town of Nolensville, Tenn., and was totally vaporized over Franklin, Tenn., at an altitude of 54 miles. The fireball — which was slightly brighter than the planet Venus — was recorded not only by the Tullahoma camera, but also by NASA cameras at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., Chickamauga, Ga., and Cartersville, Ga.

The second video below shows the same meteor as captured by the wide field meteor camera located at the Marshall Center. Note how quickly it streaks across the 25-degree field of view – a mere bullet would never keep up with this Leonid!

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