NASA Confirms ‘Many Reports’ Of Fireballs Hurtling Through Sky
NASA has confirmed that at least five fireballs have flown over the US in the past week, following ‘many’ reported sightings.
Footage of a fireball travelling at more than 32,000 mph on Friday, September 24 has been confirmed as one of five individual fireballs which were flying above the US at the time.
The object was captured on video as people spotted the meteor making its way across the sky.
According to NASA‘s Meteor Watch, the fireball was seen by over 80 people as it passed over the North Carolina coast and travelled 26 miles through the Earth’s upper atmosphere before disintegrating 28 miles above Morehead City, North Carolina.
The fireball spotted over North Carolina was comparatively slow as, according to Live Science, fireballs can reach speeds of up to 160,000 mph, while the upcoming Draconid meteor shower – which may be seen between Thursday, October 7 and Monday, October 11 – travels at 43,200 mph.
Several thousand fireballs enter the Earth’s atmosphere every day, we just don’t see them because most incidents occur above the sea or over uninhabited pieces of land.
Daylight can also mask their approach and while they are easier to see at night, they are often missed because fewer people are outside to notice. Fireballs that explode in the sky can cause damage if they occur over areas people live.
A fireball that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013 created a blast as powerful as between 400 and 500 kilotons of TNT, damaging buildings and injuring over 1,000 people.
As for really apocalyptic meteors, one may have wiped out a city 3,600 years ago. According to Live Science, the ancient Middle Eastern city of Tall el-Hammam was destroyed by a fireball which caused a blast 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Don’t worry, I’m sure if another fireball like that ends up on a collision course with Earth, we’ll probably know about it well ahead of time and it probably won’t even hit anything… Probably.
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