A meteor with estimated mass of over 50 kg exploded over Tennessee, US, around 07:27 UTC on August 28, 2013 (02:27 local time). Head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, Bill Cook, said the fireball reached a peak magnitude of -13. It was brighter than a full moon, and casted shadows on the ground. This indicated that the meteor had a mass of over 50 kg (110 lbs) and was about 40 cm (16 inches) in diameter.
All 6 NASA's all sky cameras in the southeast picked up a very bright fireball that may have produced meteorites. The cameras were completely saturated, necessitating a manual solution.
It hit the top of Earth's atmosphere traveling 23.7 km/s (53,000 mph).
"As far as I know, this is the brightest event our network has observed in 5 years of operation," he continues. "There are reports of sonic booms reaching the ground, and data from 4 doppler radars indicate that some meteorites may have fallen along the fireball's ground track."
Using data from multiple cameras, Cooke has calculated a preliminary orbit for the meteoroid. The shape and dimensions of the orbit are similar those of a Jupiter-family comet.
If meteorites are recovered from the Tennessee countryside, their chemical composition will tell researchers more about the origin of the fireball.
Start location: 84.943 W, 34.969 N at an altitude of 97.4 km
Last location: 84.578 W, 35.206 N at an altitude of 37.9 km (this is not the lowest point; other stations show it continuing)
Meteors start and last known location. Image credit: 2013. Google. Landsat
NASA ASGARD Chickamauga Allsky Camera- Chickamauga, GA Fireball Meteor 2:27 AM CDT (August 28, 2013 at 07:27 UTC)
Credit: NASA, Bill Cooke
Featured image: NASA, Bill Cooke