Fireball that ‘skimmed’ the North Carolina coast Friday was caught on video, NASA says
A fireball that flew over the North Carolina coast on Friday shot through the sky across the state.
NASA Meteor Watch said the fireball - which is an "exceptionally bright" meteor - "flew over the North Carolina coast" at 7:40 pm. and became "visible 48 miles above the ocean in front of Camp Lejeune". According to NASA, it was one of five fireballs seen over the United States that night.
According to the American Meteor Society, more than 100 people reported seeing the fireball over North Carolina.
The reports were received across North Carolina - including from people hundreds of miles from the coast in the western part of the state. Some people reported seeing the fireball in South Carolina.
It was also seen in central North Carolina where a video recorded about 15 miles south of Raleigh and published by the American Meteor Society captured the ball of fire that lit up the sky.
NASA estimates that the fireball traveled northeast at 32,000 miles per hour and dispersed 45 kilometers over Morehead City, North Carolina, after traveling "26 miles through the upper atmosphere." But it is said that there is "more than the usual uncertainty in the trajectory solution, since all observers are west of the fireball".
Fireballs, also known as falling stars, are "spectacular enough to be seen over a very large area," NASA said. While they are sometimes seen by "ground watchers" at night, it is much less common to see them during the day.
Meteors and fireballs are the “visible paths” of meteoroids - these are fragments of asteroids or comets orbiting the sun - which, according to NASA, “entered the earth's atmosphere at high speeds”.
The meteoroids that cause fireballs are usually too small to stay in one piece while traversing Earth's atmosphere, NASA said, but their fragments are sometimes found on the ground.
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