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Rare Earthgrazer meteor flew 186 miles over 3 states

A meteor striking the ground was captured by NASA's camera in Huntsville, Alabama on November 9, 2021.

Sky watchers in Georgia and Alabama saw a great light show this year. Tuesday when rare earth grazing a meteor flew across the night sky.

The bright fireball became visible at 6:39 pm ET on Nov.9 and was so bright that some observers could still see it through a partially cloudy sky, NASA reports Meteor Watch. explained on your Facebook page. The object first appeared over Taylorsville, Georgia, traveling northwest at 38,500 miles per hour (61,960 kilometers per hour) and 55 miles (89 km) above Earth.

Meteorite hunters were able to calculate the trajectory and orbit of the object thanks to three NASA meteor cameras in the region, but some additional calculations were required due to the amazing length of its travel through the Earth’s atmosphere.

According to NASA Meteor Watch, the fireball observed over Georgia and Alabama “was what we call a farmer whose trajectory is so flat that it just glides over the upper atmosphere for a long distance.” On rare occasions, farmers even “bounce” off the atmosphere and are sent back into space. In this case, this did not happen, as the meteor eventually disintegrated.

Map showing the estimated start and end points of a farmer's journey through the Earth's atmosphere.

Map showing the estimated start and end points of a farmer’s journey through the Earth’s atmosphere.
Image: NASA / Facebook

This particular meteor entered our atmosphere at a 5 ° angle. degrees from horizontal, according to NASA, allowing it to travel long distances like a ball of fire. How NASA Meteor Watch Facebook Post explained that “its path was so long that our automated software could not process all of the data,” so the next morning the team ran another analysis code and found that the meteor had not flown 91 miles (147 km) as originally reported. But but a whopping 186 miles [300 km] by air. “According to updated calculations, the final destination of the meteor flight is over Lufts, a city in southern Tennessee. So technically this is the meteor flew over three states.

Because the meteor’s light was obscured by a cloudy sky, the team was unable to estimate the size of the object. Nevertheless, according to NASA Meteor Watch, it is “a rare meteor for those lucky enough to see it.”

This particular type of astronomical phenomenon is rare, but observers in South Carolina have noticed especially long May 14, 2014, when an earth grader flew 290 miles through the atmosphere before burning up.

More: NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is completely clogged with dust


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