That’s 3,273 football fields!
Some meteors are fancier than others. Lucky skywatchers in the southeastern US were treated to a spectacular fireball Tuesday night. Data from NASA shows it was traveling 186 miles (300 kilometers) through the air.
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama tweeted Images of the fireball captured by NASA’s Meteor cameras. A map shows the trajectory stretching across George and Alabama before ending above the town of Luts, Tennessee.
NASA Meteor Watch, a group that brings together the work of meteor experts and amateur meteor watchers, gave an update on the fireball on Facebook on Wednesday. “Last night’s fireball over Georgia and Alabama is what we call an Earthgrazer, in which the meteor’s trajectory is so shallow that it settles in the upper atmosphere for long distances.”
The group described the event as “a rare meteor for those lucky enough to see it”. A video from a meteor camera at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, shows part of the path of the fireball.
We are currently in season to see a good fireball, The Taurids are caused by dust and debris from an ancient comet. When those tiny particles hit the atmosphere, they can burn up into bright “shooting stars.”
A nice fireball like Tuesday’s Earthgrazer represents extreme excitement for meteor fans.To give you the best chance to discover one of these cosmic beauties for yourself.