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 – the 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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6 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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