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Bright fireball over southern Georgia, U.S.

bright-fireball-over-southern-georgia-us

A bright fireball was observed over the southeastern United States at around 02:05 UTC on October 11, 2021. The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 88 witness reports from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The event was also detected – at extreme range – by NASA meteor cameras in north Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida.

An analysis of the video data by NASA Meteor Watch shows that the fireball first appeared 32 km (52 miles) above the town of Donald in southeast Georgia, moving northwest at 72 420 km/h (45 000 mph).

It burned up about 14 km (23 miles) above Sanders Road near Providence Missionary Baptist Church, in the southeast corner of Toombs County.

At its peak, the meteor's brightness rivaled that of the Full Moon, which indicates it was caused by an asteroid fragment about 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter with a weight of 9 kg (20 pounds).

Georgia fireball heatmap – October 11, 2021. Credit: AMS

The fireball was also seen from space, detected by the Geostationary Lightning Mapper on the GOES 16 satellite.

Image credit: NOAA/GOES-East, NASA Meteor Watch

Featured image credit: Mary Healy

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