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Asteroid Far Brighter Than Moon Dazzles Over US

NASA meteor cameras capture it above Alabama
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2018 11:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – People up late in the Southeast one night last week had the chance to catch a brief but spectacular light show. In a Facebook post, NASA says its meteor cameras picked up a small asteroid about 1:19am Friday that burned through the night sky and would have been tough to miss—it was at least 40 times brighter than the moon. (The same link has video.) The fireball would have been first visible about 60 miles above Turkeytown, Ala., near Gadsden, while traveling at 53,700mph, reports Al.com.

After that, the meteor broke up over Grove Oak, Ala., and NASA was still trying to figure out whether any remnants might have made it to the ground. The American Meteor Society has logged 53 reports of sightings from people in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina. This tweet via USA Today contains images made from doorbell surveillance cameras. NASA estimates the asteroid that caused the light show was a modest 6 feet in diameter, though it triggered "an extremely bright event." (This NASA scientist found Michigan meteorites.)

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