According to Twitter, Facebook and AMS reports, a massive fireball was seen all over the south last night at approximately 8:40 central time. Fireball reports are coming in from Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Florida. Sonic booms were reported and early analysis indicate it was traveling south west to north east.
There have been NO photographs of this event yet. There have been 2 FAKES floating around though.
Last nights meteor probably looked like this:
Here are some news reports.
Early reports indicate it may have hit near, Poteau Mountain OK, but this has not yet been confirmed.
There are most certainly meteorites on the ground somewhere left behind by this cosmic visitor. The meteorite hunting community is already in rally mode. I would expect a meteorite is found within the next few days.
There is always a lot of mis-information spread when a fireball hits, so just to clear up a few things people have been writing in about:
1) no this is not the meteor apocalypse. Everything is ok, so don’t panic!
2) meteorites don’t burn green because of copper, they burn green because of nickle and iron.
3) this meteor was most certainly bigger than a pebble. Without being dramatic, it was at least the size of a basketball and could have been as big as a small car.
4) There is probably NOT a crater on the ground somewhere, but while the chances are extremely rare, this might happen.
5) Regarding terminology: its a ‘meteoroid’ when its in space; its a ‘meteor’ when it is in the sky on fire in Earth’s atmosphere; its a ‘meteorite’ when it hits the ground.
If you have any pictures or videos of this event, please email them to me. If you saw this spectacular event, please leave a comment and also report what you saw to the American Meteor Society.
I will update again with the AMS plots and possible trajectory asap, so bookmark and check back again soon.
Update 1/12/2010 – 12:56 EST – Here’s a surveillance video that captured the flash of the meteor, but unfortunately no direct sighting: