A fireball shot across Virginia and Maryland skies just before 10 p.m. July 28, according to eyewitness reports and NASA.
Experts say the object was likely a small piece of asteroid measuring about 18 inches in diameter and weighing approximately 200 pounds, according to a Facebook post from NASA’s Meteor Watch. At its brightest, the object was two times brighter than a full moon.
Around 200 eyewitness reports were filed on the American Meteor Report website as the object rocketed across the sky, the post says. Using the reports in coordination with NASA cameras at Allegheny Observatory, the Baltimore Harbor and on the Washington Monument, experts say the fireball first became visible at an altitude of 52 miles above Stephens City, Virginia.
The object then traveled northwest at 46,000 mph before disintegrating about 32 miles above Frostburg, Maryland. Frostburg is about 80 miles northwest of Stephens City.
When the meteor disintegrated, it released energy equal to 9 tons of TNT, according to a local infrasound station, NASA’s post says.
© 2022 The Charlotte Observer
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.