NASA Cameras Catch Speeding Fireball

There was a bright fireball visible over north Georgia, eastern Tennessee, and South Carolina at 7:02:36 PM EST last night. All 4 NASA meteor cameras in the SouthEast picked it up 48 miles above the town of Rossville, just south of Chattanooga, moving at 9 miles per second (32,400 mph) slightly north of east. The meteor appears to have ablated (“burned up”) at 23 miles altitude SW of of Ocoee, TN. Though unusual, it is unlikely that this object produced any noticeable meteorites on the ground.

Orbit indicates that this meteor was asteroidal in origin, with an aphelion (farthest point from the Sun) in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.



16 thoughts on “NASA Cameras Catch Speeding Fireball”

  1. Just had an email from my daughter, she is doing research
    in the Amazon…she saw something similar…she was hoping it was a
    space ship delivering chocolate which she craves now and again.

  2. I saw this meteor when it happened! It was one of the best I have ever been able to see. I live just north of Atlanta, Ga.

  3. We saw a long bright streak in the sky traveling from mid sky to above horizon about 8:00 PM EST 2/14/2012 lasting about 2 to 3 seconds. We were in Punta Gorda FL looking Southwest. The burn went from bright white to orange to green before it went dark. Was this another meteor?

  4. To Guest –
    Florida is too far away for them to have seen this particular meteor, so you saw another fireball.

    There have been lots of fireballs reported world-wide this month. I have no doubt your daughter also saw a fireball. Sorry to disappoint about the chocolate-bearing aliens!

  6. I’m in Sarasota, Florida. Last night (2/14) around 8:53pm I saw the biggest, most beautiful one ever. Have been trying to search to see if anyone else saw it. I was facing West, toward the Gulf of Mexico. Stunningly bright green with orange, pink and red… and a long yellow/white trail. It was bright as it was coming down, then went dim, then got super bright near the horizon before it disappeared. Have never seen one last for that long, either. Great one for a Valentine’s Day wish.

  7. Could this be the same fireball that was witnessed by my son over the western California sky?? He said it was HUGE with a long tail, about 7 pm over Marin County heading west….?

  8. Guest –
    Unfortunately, California is way too far away for your son to have seen this particular fireball, though I have no doubt he saw one. There have been many reported this month.


  9. Saw a big bright green light driving south on GA400 from Cumming to Alpharetta about 10:15 pm on Wednesday 2/22. It was moving south (or down). Never seen anything like it.

  10. When do you think you will have the data on the unusual fireballs of february like the trajectory etc, and should we be worried about the speed that they are coming at on entry to the atmosphere, as it has been said that they are very unusual, so are we quite safe on earth, it was quite interesting to read about previous ones of this nature a long time ago too but just wondering if this is an unusual occurence this month, just wanted to check with you as people post silly comments on the internet which usually turns out not to be true, so just wanted an answer from someone who knows. Thanks
    Kind Regards.

  11. We calculate the trajectory for many of the fireballs seen with our cameras, so that is not a problem. What is puzzling is that these meteors seem to have no common origin, yet they share the same relatively strong physical strength, which enables them to penetrate deep into the atmosphere. A few even produce meteorites on the ground.

    There is no need for worry, as the lack of a common origin indicates that these fireballs do not originate from the same comet or asteroid — they are not precursors to a doomsday object. In fact, their orbits indicate they come from the main asteroid belt, which is located between Mars and Jupiter.


  12. Just seen what looked like some ‘space debris’ falling to earth over Ireland at 2254 (approx.).

    Any news on satillite (sic.) debris?

    Multiple objects burning bright orange in colour heading SSE to SSW.

    Any information on what it might have been to email appreciated.

    Is mise le meas


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