Tags: alabama | meteor | space

Baseball-Sized Meteor Blows up Over Alabama

Tuesday, 10 Sep 2013 04:08 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A meteor the size of a baseball blasted over the southeastern United States on Monday night, creating a bright streak of light, a sonic boom and a ruckus on Twitter, officials said on Tuesday.

The meteor appeared at 8:18 p.m. CT over Alabama, traveling at about 76,000 mph. It exploded 25 miles above Woodstock, Ala., about 30 miles from Birmingham.

"Objects of this size hit the Earth's atmosphere on a daily basis, but this one happened near Birmingham, which is a fairly decently sized city and lot of people saw it," Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, told Reuters.

Many of the more than 180 eyewitness reports came from people attending a Mumford & Sons concert in Birmingham.

"This one wasn't at 2 in the morning, so a lot of people were out and about," Cooke said.

"I saw what I first thought was a falling star and then it turned bright green," an observer from Anniston, Alabama, posted on the American Meteor Society website.

"I saw it near Dallas Highway in Marietta, (Georgia), near the National Battlefield," wrote another witness. "At first, I thought it was an errant firework, but it was bigger, neon green, came straight down and then disappeared."

Scientists calculated the meteor's orbit and determined that it came from an unknown comet. It exploded so low in Earth's atmosphere that it triggered a sonic boom.

The meteor was too bright to be picked up by NASA's All-sky Fireball Network, which tracks meteors brighter than Venus with 12 cameras in the eastern United States and New Mexico but whose parameters are set to screen out things like lightning.

The network did detect nearly two dozen other meteors on Monday night, including five that are part of the little-known annual Epsilon Perseids meteor shower, which peaks in early- to mid-September.

Sky watchers also are on the lookout for Comet ISON, which is due to pass by Mars this month and by Earth in November.

The comet, which was discovered last September by a pair of amateur astronomers in Russia, is expected to pass relatively close to the sun on Nov. 28. As it approaches, heat from the sun vaporizes ice in the comet's body, creating a bright tail.

But so far, Comet ISON hasn't brightened as much as astronomers had predicted.

"People are no longer thinking it is going to be visible in daylight," Cooke said.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

German Researchers: Cellphone Calls, Messages Easy to Crack

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 14:12 PM

Security flaws on the global network that routes the world's cellphone calls and texts could allow hackers and criminals . . .

Kepler's Exoplanet Find Is First Since Space Telescope Revived

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 09:54 AM

The Kepler space telescope has discovered its first exoplanet since NASA's engineers were able to reboot the mission man . . .

Rosetta Comet-Landing Is 2014's Top Science Breakthrough

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 08:37 AM

The top scientific breakthrough of 2014 was the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft's rendezvous with a comet, th . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved