NASA Spotted a Super Bright 53,700 MPH Fireball Streaking Over Alabama This Weekend

Monday, 20 August 2018 - 11:39AM
Space
Monday, 20 August 2018 - 11:39AM
NASA Spotted a Super Bright 53,700 MPH Fireball Streaking Over Alabama This Weekend
< >
Image Credit: Pixabay
In a post on Facebook this past weekend, NASA's Meteor Watch group shared information about a fireball that lit up parts of Alabama just after midnight on August 17. According to the group, the fireball was clocked going around 53,700 miles per hour over a place called Turkeytown, which is an hour northeast of Birmingham.

Several eyewitnesses reported seeing the bright light briefly illuminate the night sky, and it was detected by all six of the space agency's nearby cameras. "Early results indicate the fireball, which was at least 40 times as bright as the Full Moon, was caused by a small asteroid 6 feet (2 meters) in diameter," the watch group said. "We are still assessing the probability of the fireball producing meteorites on the ground - whether it did or not, it was an extremely bright event, seen through partly cloudy skies and triggering every camera and sensor operated by the Meteoroid Environment Office in the region."

The American Meteor Society charted over 50 reports from people who claimed to have seen the event. The witnesses extend as far south as Daphne, Alabama and as far east as Weaverville, North Carolina. Jared of Weaverville described the fireball as "very beautiful, almost firework like," while Michael of Kodak, Tennessee said that he has "never seen anything like it." So far in 2018, there have been 228 events with at least 5 reports logged by the AMS-18 of which were over Alabama. 





Fireballs are fairly common, but seeing one with your own eyes (or via surveillance or cell phone camera footage) never gets old. If you are lucky enough to spot one in realtime, you can report it directly to the American Meteor Society. There are certain standards in place, however, so don't just start reporting every weird light you happen to see in the sky. Maybe one day we'll be sharing your amateur footage right here on your favorite website.
Science
NASA
Space