Last week, there were reports of at least five fireballs in the sky over the United States with incredible speed.
NASA Meteor Watch wrote Saturday on Facebook that there had been “many reports” of fireballs hurtling through the sky on Friday night.
The most eyewitness accounts totaled more than 80 and were related to an event that occurred at 7:40 p.m. ET over 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. It disintegrated 28 miles above Morehead City, after traveling 26 miles through Earth’s upper atmosphere,” NASA wrote.
However, the agency noted that the “trajectory solution” contains more uncertainty than usual due to all observers being located west of the fireball.
Massive fireball falls from sky in North Carolina
The agency posted on social media saying around 7:40 p.m., there were many reports of at least five fireballs seen in the sky.
According to the American Meteor Society, there were 151 reports of a fireball seen over Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia on the same night.
NASA also linked to a video of the event provided to the organization which now has more than 400,000 views.
What exactly is a “fireball”?
According to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), a fireball is an exceptionally bright meteor that reaches a “visual magnitude of -3 or brighter when seen at the observer’s zenith” and is able to be seen over a very wide area.
Fireballs, according to experts, are considered to be “exceptionally bright” meteors that appear brighter than the planet Venus. Most commonly, fireballs are seen by “ground-based observers” at night.
Meteoroids typically enter Earth’s atmosphere at 25,000 to 160,000 mph; however, they “rapidly decelerate” as they travel through the atmosphere, according to American Meteor Society (AMS).
“Several thousand” fireball meteors occur in Earth’s atmosphere each day, with the vast majority taking place over oceans and unpopulated regions, according to AMS.