A fireball meteor lights up the skies of Tennessee

The inhabitants of Tennessee are inflamed on social networks by asking the same question: have you seen it?

A bright ball of fire lit up the sky around 9pm on Tuesday, stopping some people in their tracks and calling others to their windows to see where the unexpected light was coming from.

Soon after, Nashville residents took to Facebook and Reddit to discuss it.

“I just saw a crazy fireball falling from the sky through my window in Edgehill,” a Reddit user said in the Nashville subreddit. “It was bright blue and unlike any meteor I’ve ever seen. Has anyone else seen it?! It was BIG.”

On the East Nashville Facebook group, Ben Sawyer said it was the brightest shooting star he had ever seen.

“I saw it in Inglewood, it blew me off the couch,” replied Alex Ricchiuto. “I wasn’t even looking outside and it lit up our living room.”

Bryan Jones added that some had seen it in McMinnville and others linked to video from a doorbell camera in Smyrna showing the fireball leaving a trail behind before it died down.

Watch: NASA video captures fireball meteors over Tennessee

There were actually two meteors spotted over Nashville on Tuesday night, according to Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory director Billy Teets. One was barely visible at 8:38 p.m. central time, and another appeared much brighter and more visible at 9:02 p.m.

“In fact, it was so bright that it was seen from central Michigan to central Alabama and from Maryland to Missouri,” said William J. Cooke, manager of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. . “This meteor was brighter than the full moon at its peak.”

A satellite also picked it up, Cooke said. He believes it was part of the Taurid meteor shower, which is expected to peak on the night of November 11 to early November 12.

Cameras at Dyer Observatory, which is in Brentwood, captured small glimpses of the two meteors.

Here’s a video of the first one spotted at 8:38 p.m. Watch for the white brackets in the bottom center of the screen highlighting the fireball.

And here’s a preview of the second one. Keep an eye on the upper middle part of the screen to spot the meteor.

NASA: Meteors reported Tuesday across Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee

Tennessee wasn’t the only place to see meteors on Tuesday, according to Cooke.

“Mother Nature put on a show last night for skywatchers in the Southeast,” Cooke said in an email. “At least seven bright meteors, many of which belong to the Taurid meteor shower, were reported by people enjoying the warm weather outside.”

Things started with a fireball first seen at 8:38 p.m. over Jasper, Alabama – which was also briefly spotted over Nashville.

“Amazingly, it wasn’t a Taurid,” Cooke said.

Instead, he thinks it was a cometary fragment from the outer solar system moving at around 63,000 mph.

The next was just after 9 p.m., the one that dazzled residents of Tennessee and others across the country.

A third bright meteor hovered over central Tennessee in the Murfreesboro area minutes later. It was a Taurid, moving at 67,000 mph, Cooke said. Four other bright – but less intense – meteors were also detected on Tuesday evening.

NASA has a network of cameras that track fireballs over the United States. You can find more information at fireballs.ndc.nasa.gov.

About Hannah Schaeffer

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