NASA Solves Thriller of the Fireball That Lit Up the West Virginia Sky

An infinite fireball exploded within the evening sky above West Virginia on August 2, mystifying eyewitnesses.

The explosion, which briefly outshone the supermoon lighting up the sky, was filmed by Invoice Stewart, an novice astronomer in Ceredo who occurred to be recording on the time.

Scientists have urged the fireball was possible attributable to a comet fragment falling by means of the Earth’s environment.

Photos from Invoice Stewart’s video of the fireball exploding over West Virginia. A NASA scientist has mentioned it was possible a comet fragment falling to Earth.
Invoice Stewart / AstroSeabee and the American Meteor Society

“It was at 2:13 a.m.,” Stewart instructed Spaceweather.com. “The fireball made two audible booms. After one brilliant flash it broke into 3 distinct fragments. One remained brilliant because it descended under the horizon. It might have presumably touched down though I did not hear it impression.”

A NASA scientist has urged that a big comet fragment, weighing round 75 kilos, fell to Earth and wiped out within the environment, inflicting the fireball.

Invoice Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Surroundings Workplace instructed Spaceweather.com: “It entered Earth’s environment about 50 miles above the Kentucky city of Krypton—sure, actually —shifting roughly southeast at 37,000 miles per hour.

“The article traveled 65 miles by means of the environment earlier than disintegrating 30 miles above Duffield, Virginia.”

Cooke added: “The breakup of the fireball generated an power of roughly 2 tons of TNT, which triggered the booms and shakings skilled by some within the area. At its brightest the fireball was about 5 instances brighter than the complete moon.”

comet
Inventory picture of a comet.
ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Fireballs, also referred to as bolides, are attributable to larger-than-average meteors falling to Earth and burning up quickly within the environment due to intense friction.

“Fireball meteors are fragments of rock or ice from asteroids or comets. On this case, it was possible an asteroid based mostly on the obvious entry velocity, fragmentation traits and sonic results,” mentioned Mike Hankey, an novice astronomer and operations supervisor for the American Meteor Society.

“It’s attainable meteorites survived and are mendacity within the woods someplace close to the japanese border of Kentucky and Tennessee,” Hankey instructed Newsweek.

Greater than 70 folks reported sightings of the fireball to the American Meteor Society. The observers have been in areas throughout the japanese United States, beginning in Ohio and stretching south to Georgia.

“I’ve all the time tried to concentrate to meteor showers and issues of that nature and have (for essentially the most half) been dissatisfied with what I would seen. I’ve encountered some uncommon brilliant flashes however by no means on the magnitude I noticed right here,” commented one Kentucky-based consumer, Nick M, on the society’s web site.

fireball
Inventory picture of a small fireball meteor.
ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

“This was the good factor I’ve ever witnessed,” wrote Amanda W, additionally in Kentucky.

“It was the brightest and largest meteor I’ve ever seen. It was essentially the most elegant inexperienced ball arcing throughout the sky earlier than it abruptly turned to a brilliant gold because it broke aside and disappeared,” posted April H, from Tennessee.

The comet that the fragment originated from is unknown, however it could have come from the interior photo voltaic system’s particles area, which is full of chunks of many asteroids and comets.

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