It’s always interesting when meteors streaked through the atmosphere of the earth creating fiery trails that those of us on Earth can see with the naked eye. These fireballs are relatively rare since most go unseen. However, this week a spectacular fireball was recorded over the American South East and briefly it shine brighter than the moon.
The meteor was recorded in the predawn hours of August 28 and was recorded by six NASA cameras in the Southeast. The fireball was reportedly one of the brightest ever recorded by the NASA camera network. That camera network has been in operation for five years.
NASA reports that in Chickamauga, Georgia the meteor was 20 times brighter than the full moon. The fireball was bright enough to cast shadows on the ground as far south as Cartersville, Georgia. NASA believes that the asteroid was probably about 2 feet wide and weighed over 100 pounds.
The asteroid entered the Earth’s atmosphere approximately above the Georgia/Tennessee border at 3:27 AM on August 28 and was moving to the northeast at 56,000 mph. NASA reports that it had lost track of the pieces of fireball at an altitude of 21 miles. At that altitude, the fragments had already slowed to a speed of 19,400 mph. Interestingly, there were also indications on Doppler weather radar that a rain of meteor particles were falling to the ground east of Cleveland, Tennessee. Sensors also reported sonic booms relating to the event.