500-Pound Fireball Illuminates Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York Pre-Dawn Skies

Submitted by Quest-News-Serv... on Thu, 02/19/2015 - 23:22.
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A 500-pound fireball meteor going 45,000 miles per hour caught by NASA Meteor Watch cameras, illuminated skies above Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York early Tuesday.

The dense space rock, which was actually only about 2 feet in diameter, flare brighter than the full moon, NASA Meteor Watch wrote on Facebook.

The American Meteor Society received 96 reports of sightings of the meteor from eyewitnesses.

A security camera in Robinson, Pennsylvania, caught the burning space rock lighting up the sky, and video from it was uploaded to YouTube by user Ron Shawley.

The event took place at around 4:50 a.m., NASA said.

"It lit up the sky (and all it the snow of course) bright blue," Pennsylvania resident Karen Rayner Bierbauer wrote on Facebook. "Very neat."

NASA Meteor Watch also released an animation showing the orbit of the fireball and the its perspective as it approached Earth. The celestial visitor came a "might long way" from an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, the agency added.

Fragments known as meteorites could be scattered on the ground east of the Kittanin, Pennsylvania, where cameras lost track of the fireball, NASA Meteor Watch said.

 

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