Meteor Fragment Streaks Over Alabama and Georgia

Monday, Sept 9 at 8:18 PM Central Time, a baseball size fragment of a comet entered Earth’s atmosphere above Alabama, moving southwest at a speed of 76,000 miles per hour. At such speeds, fragile cometary material will not last long. Just 3 seconds after hitting the atmosphere, the meteor disintegrated 25 miles above the town of Woodstock, producing a flash of light rivaling the waxing crescent Moon. Because it penetrated so deep into Earth’s atmosphere, sonic booms were produced, which were heard by eyewitnesses.

A montage of the fireball as seen by 5 NASA cameras in the Southeast is attached, along with the meteor’s trajectory, which lies south of Birmingham. Also attached is a diagram showing the meteor’s orbit, which extends well beyond the orbit of Jupiter and is similar to those of ¬†comets. It was not a member of any known meteor shower.

A fireball is a meteor brighter than the planet Venus Рthe fireball seen Monday night  was 15 times brighter than Venus.

The NASA cameras observing this event are located at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville; the James Smith Planetarium near Chickamauga, Georgia; the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville Georgia; and the North Georgia College Observatory near Dahlonega, Georgia.

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5 thoughts on “Meteor Fragment Streaks Over Alabama and Georgia”

  1. At 12:48am Tues, Sept 10, I saw a meteor fragment burn very brightly in the atmosphere and it was going from west to east. It was definitely a fireball. I live in Warren, Pa. and it appeared almost directly overhead and arced about 40 degrees before it disappeared. It didn’t seem to last as long as 3 seconds though. I had just let the dog out and happened to look up to see it, and couldn’t believe how brightly this meteorite burned. I am wondering if it could be a part of the same meteor as was seen earlier in the southern US? I had watched Perseids earlier this year and this was much brighter and pretty much the same speed. Of course I am guessing on that speed estimate. I’m thinking this had to be pretty large to burn as brightly as it did. It seemed to be about 3 or 4 times as wide as the ISS appears in the sky when it finally burned up completely. I don’t think I will ever be lucky enough to witness such an event again. This was pure coincidence to even be outside at that time of the night.

  2. I believe I saw a fragment of the meteorite sighted in Alabama fly past my balcony on the 11th floor, over Burrard Inlet in Vancouver, Canada at 21:28 Sept. 8. It was about the size of a football, glowing green as it
    burned out eye level to my balcony!

  3. I was on the phone with my daughter on Monday night, Sept 9th at 9:09 EST. She attends college at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga. As she was going into her room on the third floor she gasped… I asked her what was wrong. She said, “I just saw a shooting star more beautiful that I have ever seen in my life. It was like on fire with a tail on it.” She was really taken back by its beauty. Of course I asked her if she made a wish… and she did. I told her that God was looking on her tonight… I immediately looked on line to see if there was a story of a meteor shower but found nothing. I just thought I would share this with you as I saw the story this morning on our local media outlet, AccessNorthGa.com.

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