It lasted only a few seconds and was no bigger than a washing machine – or a small boulder or a volleyball or a baseball – but the space rock that hurtled across the Atlantic Seaboard in a ball of flames last night lit up the sky … and social media.
“Meteors hit the earth every day – but most go unnoticed,” said Mike Hankey, the operations manager for the American Meteor Society. “This was on the East Coast, it was a Friday night, and it was 8 p.m., so people were out and noticing it.”
Security cameras in Maryland and Delaware captured the event.
Hankey said his organization received sighting reports from more than 1,000 people as the meteor tracked northwest-to-southeast across New Jersey to where it fell in the Atlantic Ocean. There were reports of flashes of light as far south as Florida and as far inland as Ohio.
Friday night’s event generated the most reports since the organization began monitoring sightings in 2005, reported the Star-Ledger. Witness reports of direction and trajectory were used to generate a map showing the meteor’s track.
“If it produced rocks, they didn’t end up on dry land,” Bill Cooke, of NASA’s Meteoroid Environments Office said. “On the order of 100 events like the one last night occur every year planet-wide. This one happened to occur on a Friday night over a heavily populated area, so it got a lot of attention.”
Friday night’s light show paled in comparison to the meteor that blew up over Chelyabinsk, Russia, five weeks ago, destroying buildings and injuring more than 1,000 people.
That meteor was much closer to the ground and exploded more than 12 miles above the Earth’s surface, causing destructive shock waves. It was the largest recorded meteor since 1908.
“This is not nearly as big as [Russia’s meteor], not in a long shot,” Kelly Beatty, an astronomer at the Clay Center Observatory in Brookline, Mass., told the Boston Globe “There’s a hundred tons of meteorite that hit the Earth’s atmosphere every day. [This] was a large-ish object that may have been the size of about a washing machine, approximately.”
Most space rocks are the size of pebbles and burn up in Earth’s upper atmosphere. While the washing-machine-boulder-volley-ball-baseball-sized rock that grazed the East Coast wasn’t of the same caliber as the Russian meteor, it still was a rare event, and those who saw it should count themselves lucky.
“An object this bright and this spectacular is rare,” Beatty said. “I wouldn’t expect to see another fireball like this for another 10 to 20 years.”
Meteor's track takes it across heavily populated Atlantic Seaboard ...more
Exclusive: David Rives notes example of beautiful handiwork God placed in the cosmos
Exclusive: Richard Rives reminds us of Jesus' words about transgressing the law
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews apostolic minister Robert Henderson
Exclusive: David Rives was able to observe celestial phenomenon in well-known galaxy
Exclusive: Richard Rives notes not everyone who prophesies in His name will enter heaven
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews Messianic rabbi Jonathan Bernis
Exclusive: David Rives reminds us of the differing 'glory of the stars' in Bible
Exclusive: Richard Rives notes defeated adversary wants to take as many down with him as possible
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews Drs. Dennis and Jennifer Clark
Exclusive: David Rives notes God's subatomic world fascinatingly complex
Exclusive: Richard Rives warns against 'Satanically inspired' traditions of men
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews prophetic minister Henry Gruver
Exclusive: Richard Rives notes over time, our convictions can be wrongly influenced
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Sandra Kennedy
Exclusive: David Rives notes laws of physics shouldn't make sense if they were self-created
Exclusive: Richard Rives notes Bible is only source of 'intel' to defeat adversary
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews Dr. Randy Clark
Exclusive: David Rives notes God has given an amazing array of tools to study universe
Exclusive: Richard Rives notes Satan wants man to question commandments of our Creator
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews author, speaker Kevin Zadai
Exclusive: David Rives notes just because something makes sense doesn't make it true
Exclusive: Richard Rives notes 'apologetics' is used in place of true Christianity
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews evangelist Tommy Combs
Exclusive: David Rives offers excellent analogy for behavior of space phenomenon
Exclusive: Richard Rives asks what our faith is based on, man-made traditions or Bible?
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews former Muslim Işık Abla
Exclusive: David Rives notes clustering of galactic phenomenon shouldn't happen
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews Rich Vera, Chuck Pierce, Hank Kunneman
Exclusive: David Rives notes even particle scientists credit 'unknown entity' in formation