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
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, select the level of your support and register your account.
Your support makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.
All our supporters can browse the website without ads, allowing much faster speeds and a clean interface. Your comments will be instantly approved and you’ll have a direct line of communication with us from within your account dashboard. You can suggest new features and apps and you’ll be able to use them before they go live.
You can choose the level of your support.
Stay kind, vigilant and ready!