Large fireball over Ohio and Pennsylvania, U.S.

fireball over ohio on december 2 2022 by jared rackley f

A large fireball was recorded over Ohio and Pennsylvania, U.S. at 00:33 UTC on December 2, 2022. The event lasted more than 10 seconds.

The American Meteor Society (AMS) registered more than 840 reports1 from South Carolina to Michigan.

fireball over ohio on december 2 2022 ams heatmap
Fireball over Ohio on December 2, 2022 – heatmap. Credit: AMS

The current trajectory, based on user reports to AMS, suggests the fireball entered our atmosphere over High Hill and Cumberland, Ohio. It traveled east toward Pennsylvania and ended near Farmington, Pennsylvania.

Update

The event was also captured by all 3 NASA meteor cameras in the area, and an analysis of this data has enabled the determination of the fireball’s trajectory and orbit.2

The meteor – produced by an asteroidal fragment approximately 13 cm (5 inches) in diameter with a weight of around 1.4 kg (3 pounds) – was first seen at an altitude of 84 km (52 miles) above the Ohio town of Morganville.

Moving downward at a shallow angle and almost due east at 55 500 km (345 00 mph), the fireball traveled 181 km (113 miles) through the atmosphere before disintegrating 30 km (19 miles) above the town of Ringgold in West Virginia, just south of Morgantown.

It is doubtful that this fireball produced meteorites on the ground – the shallow entry angle, relatively high speed at the last sighting, and lack of doppler radar signatures showing falling meteoritic particles indicate that the fragment’s disintegration produced no substantial pieces.

This was not a member of the Geminid meteor shower, which will reach its peak on the night of December 13/14.

References:

1 Fireball event 9579-2022 – AMS – December 2, 2022

2 Fireball seen over Ohio/West Virginia – NASA Meteor Watch – December 2, 2022

Featured image credit: Jared Rackley

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