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Fireball explodes producing small meteorites near Lake Weiss, Alabama

fireball-explodes-producing-small-meteorites-near-lake-weiss-alabama

NASA's All Sky Cameras detected a bright fireball that broke apart in a brilliant flash of light above the Alabama town of Henagar, US, around 03:20 UTC on August 3, 2014 (22:20 EDT on August 2). Based on the meteor's speed, final altitude, and weak doppler radar signatures, it is believed that this fireball produced small meteorites on the ground somewhere between Borden Springs and Lake Weiss, Alabama.

According to Bill Cook, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environmental Office, the fireball was not from the Perseid debris field, but rather from the asteroid belt. 

Video courtesy of NASA / Meteoroid Environmental Office

"The meteoroid was about 15 inches [38 cm] in diameter and weighed close to 100 lbs [45 kg]," Cooke said. "Travelling 47 000 miles per hour [75 639 km/h], it broke apart in a brilliant flash of light above the Alabama town of Henagar." 

"Our cameras continued to track a large fragment until it disappeared 18 miles [28 km] above Gaylesville, located near Lake Weiss close to the Georgia state line. At last sight, the fragment was still traveling at 11 000 miles per hour [17 702 km/h]. Based on the meteor's speed, final altitude, and weak doppler radar signatures, we believe that this fireball produced small meteorites on the ground somewhere between Borden Springs, AL and Lake Weiss."

Below is a 3D trajectory of the fireball’s entry through the solar system, plotted by the American Meteor Society using data from the witness sightings.

Image credit: American Meteor Society

Featured image: NASA / Meteoroid Environmental Office

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