On August 28, a fireball shot across the pre-dawn sky near the Georgia-Tennessee border, so bright that its light output easily bested that of a full moon.
NASA posted this video, captured from one of its six cameras in the Southeast, all of which recorded this large meteor crashing into the atmosphere.
“From Chickamauga, Georgia, the meteor was 20 times brighter than the Full Moon; shadows were cast on the ground as far south as Cartersville,” NASA’s William Cooke writes.
Amazingly, NASA says weather radar detected small meteoritic particles falling from the sky east of Cleveland, Tennessee.
The meteor, about 2 feet in diameter and weighing over 100 pounds, entered the atmosphere at 56,000 mph NASA says.
Here is some basic information on fireballs from the American Meteor Society:
A fireball is a meteor that is larger than normal. Most meteors are only the size of tiny pebbles. A meteor the size of a softball can produce light equivalent to the full moon for a short instant. The reason for this is the extreme velocity at which these objects strike the atmosphere. Even the slowest meteors are still traveling at 10 miles per SECOND, which is much faster than a speeding bullet. Fireballs occur every day over all parts of the Earth.
A fireball apparently zipped through the sky in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast last night (Wednesday, September 4). Numerous witnesses reported seeing a fireball around 11 p.m. from northwest Virginia through central Maryland and into Pennsylvania and New York according to the American Meteor Society’s Web site.
Dramatic meteor streaks through evening sky (March 22, 2013, D.C. area)