If you saw a fireball in the sky Monday night you aren’t alone. David Dundee, an astronomer at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville says a meteor about the size of a baseball fell over Woodstock, Alabama around 9:18pm
He says “We think it was a fragment of a comet. The initial orbital elements seem to show it came from outside the orbit of Jupiter. It was about 15 times brighter than the planet Venus. It burned up about 25 miles above the Earth’s surface. There were reports of sonic booms heard around Alabama.” NASA officials say the meteor could be seen from as far away as Tennessee and Georgia.
Dundee says none of the fragments reached the ground. He says their camera picks up really bright fireballs like this once or twice a month. But this one you could hear. “What makes this one a little more unusual is because of the sonic booms. Those are a little more rare. So you’ll only see maybe a few of those every year.” Dundee says. The Tellus Museum has one of a network of fireball cameras across the southeast that are aimed at the sky.
Officials estimate the meteor was falling at speeds up to 76,000 miles an hour. It took about three seconds to burn up.
Check out the video of the meteor captured by the Tellus Museum camera.