Did you notice a bright flash of light around 9:30pm Sunday night? If so, you may have spotted a fireball!
The American Meteor Society notes that more than 60 eyewitnesses reported the fireball in numerous states, including Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama. Eyewitnesses report the fireball was visible for roughly 1.5 – 3.5 seconds.
Additional information and reports are forthcoming regarding Sunday night’s fireball. However, many across the Tennessee Valley spotted the bright feature in the sky.
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What is a fireball?
The American Meteor Society defines a fireball as a meteor that shines brighter than the planet Venus.
A meteor is a small piece of rocky, iron or icy debris flying in space that emits light as it enters the earths atmosphere. A meteor can be either a meteoroid (space debris that is one meter or less in size) or an asteroid (space debris that is one meter to hundreds of kilometers in size).
A meteorite is a fragment of a meteoroid or asteroid that survives passage through the earth’s atmosphere and strikes the ground.