Tag Archives: fireball

Macon comet

[VIDEO] Man-sized meteor over Georgia sky

Macon comet

In a relevant display of  NASA’s fireball-observing network capabilities, a set of automatic robotic cameras caught a man-sized meteor as it blasted though Earth’s atmosphere causing a fireball spectacle.

The event took place on May 20, when the 6-foot-wide (1.8-meter) space rock entered the atmosphere at about 66 miles (106 kilometers) above the city of Macon, Ga, traveling at about 86,000 mph (138,404 kph) – possessing the striking power somewhere between 500 and 1,000 tons of TNT.

Burning down in flames

Thankfully, the meteor was too small and never got a chance to touch ground, since it blazed to smithereens at 38 miles (61 km) above the town of Villa Rica, Ga., before subsequently four distinct flares emanated from the comet as the chunk broke apart multiple times.

Although fireballs like the Macon meteor are a splendor, they’re not all that rare. Objects the size of washing machines are reported to enter the Earth atmosphere every month or so, but most of the time they burn out before reaching Earth’s surface. This one is special, however, since it was all caught on tape, the video of which you can see right below.

More videos like the Macon comet soon enough, NASA promises

This was all captured by NASA’s fireball-observing network, which has open operational for only three years now. The network comprises of  a set of “smart” cameras linked into a computer system that automatically analyzes their video, then calculates relevant information about incoming space rocks’ trajectories and orbits.

Currently, there are the two in Georgia, one in Huntsville, and one in southern Tennessee and NASA officials say the hope to increase the number to 15 such cameras in various locations throughout the eastern United States

[Story via MNM]

‘Fossil’ fireballs found from supernovae

The US-Japan Sukazu observatory reported the finding of some never-before seen embers from the high temperature fireballs that immediately follower the supernovae explosions. Even after thousands of years in which they haven’t been exposed to any heat source, gas within these stellar wrecks is 10.000 hotter than the Sun’s surface.


“This is the first evidence of a new type of supernova remnant — one that was heated right after the explosion,” said Hiroya Yamaguchi at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research in Japan.


Supernovae usually cool off quickly, due to the massive expansion that follows the explosion; after that it basically sweeps stellar gas and during the following thousands of years, starts to heat up again. In this studied supernova from the Jellyfish Nebula they also found some structures that raise questions.

“These structures indicate the presence of a large amount of silicon and sulfur atoms from which all electrons have been stripped away,” Yamaguchi said. These “naked” nuclei produce X-rays as they recapture their lost electrons.

Dramatic fireball flies above Arizona

I’m really sorry I didn’t find out about this earlier, but better late than never. So, on June 23, several observers from Tucson, Arizona reported they noticed a bright fireball on the sky.

As it turns out, it was rock from outer space that broke apart and took a dive in our planet’s atmosphere, a ‘shooting star’, and a pretty big one too. Events such as these one are not really uncommon, but in the vast majority of the cases, they take place above the ocean, so it’s pretty hard to see one of them.

Observers compared it to a famous local event, the Peekskill Fireball in 1992, and one eve wrote about it.

Here’s the recent fireball:

Here’s the one in ’92