'Vivid and long-lasting' meteor over Alabama, USA

'Vivid and long-lasting' meteor over Alabama, USA

A long-lasting fireball was seen flying through the sky over Alabama at around 01:31 UTC on December 5, 2019. The National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham was able to catch footage on its Skycam.

NWS Birmingham said they received reports of a "vivid and long-lasting meteor."

According to Dr. Bill Cooke from NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, the orbit and brightness indicated that the fireball was caused by a fragment of an asteroid about 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter, weighing roughly 1.4 kg (3 lbs).

The American Meteor Society said they received 66 reports about the fireball witnessed over Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee as of writing, December 5 at 17:00 UTC.

Image credit: AMS

dec-4-fireball-us-AMS-captured-by-NASA

Image credit: NASA

The meteor was traveling northwest from central Alabama at a rate of around 57 936 km/h (36,000 mph). It disintegrated 43 km (27 miles) above the intersection of Targum Road and Highway 36, Morgan County.

The annual Geminid meteor shower will peak over the US on December 14 to 15.

Another bright fireball was observed a day before, around 00:16 UTC on December 4.

AMS received 154 reports from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin as of 17:39 UTC on December 5.

Image credit: AMS

Featured image credit: AMS

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