Monthly Archives: March 2013

East Coast Meteoroid

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Last night (March 22) at around 8 p.m. EDT, a meteoroid with a boulder size of ~1 yard in diameter entered the atmosphere above Pennsylvania and moved southeast, passing just south of New York City. It went dark over the Atlantic Ocean, and may have produced meteorites which dropped harmlessly into the water below. This trajectory plot, produced by Mike Hankey from the over 350 eyewitness accounts, is on the American Meteor Society’s website ( and shows the meteor’s path.

(Credit: American Meteor Society)


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Images were taken by Rob Suggs and Aaron Kingery in twilight through cirrus clouds around 00:36 UT on 17 Mar 2013 with a 14 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope at Marshall Space Flight Center’s Automated Lunar and Meteor Observatoryin Huntsville, Ala.  The detector was a low-light level B&W video camera with a focal reducer giving a 20 arcminute horizontal field of view.  The view shows the over-exposed coma and a faint division in the 2 sides of the dust tail.  The images were not flat-fielded or dark-subtracted.

The darker image is a stack of 60 video frames (2 seconds), enhanced to show the tail. The lighter image is produced by simply stacking 1600 video frames (53.3 seconds).