TENNESSEE FIREBALL: Space rocks have landed in Tennessee. That's the conclusion of researchers who recorded a brilliant fireball streaking over the Smoky Mountain state on Wednesday evening.
Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office reports: "On April 6th at 8:21:57 CDT, NASA all-sky meteor cameras detected a very bright fireball moving north across the state of Tennessee. First detected 52 miles above the Arnold Air Force base near Tullahoma, the meteor was brighter than crescent Moon and was approximately 2 feet in diameter, with a weight of 200 lbs. It was last recorded 30 miles above the town of Woodbury, Tennessee, moving at a speed of approximately 9 miles per second (32,400 mph)."
Cooke continues: "The NASA Meteoroid Environment Office has reasonable confidence that some fraction of this meteor survived to the ground as one or more meteorites. Calculations are underway to determine the general impact location, which may lie close to the Kentucky border. Eyewitnesses to the fireball are encouraged to make a report to the American Meteor Society or to the Meteoroid Environment Office."
The smart cameras of Cooke's fireball network are able to calculate the orbits of incoming fireballs and backtrack their trajectories into the solar system. "The orbit of this interloper indicates that it came from the Asteroid Belt, with an aphelion well beyond the orbit of Mars."
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