Very bright fireball explodes over the eastern U.S.

Very bright fireball explodes over the eastern US

A very bright fireball exploded over the eastern United States at around 06:13 UTC (02:16 EDT) on August 2, 2023, producing a sonic boom.

The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 74 reports from users in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia as well as 7 videos and 2 photos.

There are also reports of loud noises resembling sonic booms from the Appalachia area, NASA Meteor Watch reports.

Analysis of the available data – eyewitnesses, camera data and infrasound – indicate that the meteor first appeared 80 km (50 miles) above the Kentucky town of Krypton, moving roughly southeast at 59 545 km/h (37 000 mph).

The object – a cometary fragment weighing about 34 km (75 pounds) with a diameter of just over 30 cm (1 foot) – traveled 104 km (65 miles) through the atmosphere before disintegrating 48 km (30 miles) above Duffield, Virginia.

eastern us fireball august 2 2023 heatmap
Image credit: AMS

The breakup of the fireball generated an energy of roughly 2 tons of TNT, which caused the booms and shakings experienced by some in the region.

At its brightest, the fireball was about 5 times brighter than the Full Moon.

The object was not a part of any meteor shower.

YouTube video
YouTube video
YouTube video

References:

1 AMS event #3961-2023 – AMS — August 2, 2023

2 Bright fireball over Kentucky/Virginia last night just past 2 AM local – NASA Meteor Watch – August 2, 2023

Featured image credit: Bill Stewart (AKA AstroSeabee)

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