Story at a glance

  • At least five fireball sightings were reported last Friday evening.
  • NASA Meteor Watch wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday that there were “many reports” related to the sightings.
  • The American Meteor Society received 171 reports of a fireball viewed the same evening over Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

At least five fireball sightings were reported in the U.S. on Friday evening, according to NASA. 

NASA Meteor Watch wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday that there were “many reports” related to the sightings. But the largest number of eyewitness accounts — more than 80 — stemmed from an event that occurred around 7:40 p.m. ET on the North Carolina coast.

“An analysis of these accounts shows that the meteor skimmed the coast of North Carolina, becoming visible 48 miles above the ocean off Camp Lejeune, moving northeast at 32,000 miles per hour,” the post read. 

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The meteor eventually “disintegrated” after traveling 26 miles through Earth’s upper atmosphere.

“There is more than the usual amount of uncertainty in the trajectory solution due to all the observers being located to the west of the fireball,” the post continued. 

NASA Meteor Watch linked a video from one of the sightings. 

The American Meteor Society received 171 reports of a fireball viewed the same evening over Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.


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Published on Sep 30, 2021