Bright Fireball Event over Tennessee

A bright fireball event occurred on Dec. 17 at 8:20:40 PM CST. It started out 52 miles above I-24 just south of Manchester, TN and moved to the northwest at 50,000 mph. The all sky camera lost track of it at an altitude of 23 miles just to the northwest of Shelbyville. Below is a map of the ground track.


The closest camera (Tullahoma, TN) shows that the fireball was about as bright as the full moon, which means we are dealing with an object about 20 inches across and weighing approximately 400 lbs.

Orbit indicates this object is a piece of an asteroid, with an aphelion in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and perihelion (closest point to the sun) inside the orbit of Venus.

6 thoughts on “Bright Fireball Event over Tennessee”

  1. Could it have been the European launch of Space Camera ‘Gaia’?? that is going to map the Milky Way.
    Launched from French Guyana and across the Atlantic Ocean at 0910 GMT on Thursday, discarding its boosters and completing fairing separation as scheduled.

  2. My son saw a red streak across the sky on the 17th, but we live in the Florida Panhandle. How far away could the fireball be seen? If not that, then what could the red streak have been? Comet? Thank you!!!

    1. Due to the Doppler Effect, it could have been moving away from you and you may have seen the same event, just south of it.

  3. In “01 a similar one was also seen over Tullahoma, and this site reported it. It set off a hunt. I wonder if there is one going on now? Knowing the information above should help discern about where it may have landed?

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