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 Margaret Sanger's enthusiasm to weed out those 'less fit'
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews author, apostolic pastor Tim Sheets
Exclusive: David Rives asks what happens when evolution is taken to its logical conclusion
Exclusive: Richard Rives notes ruler defined new religion with many pagan rituals
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews apostolic minister Shawn Morris
Joel Richardson warns faithful should be preparing for coming kingdom
Exclusive: David Rives notes influence of skeptics in shaping scientific thought
Exclusive: Richard Rives notes nothing in Scripture indicates Ten Commandments have been abrogated
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews evangelist Tommy Combs
Exclusive: David Rives notes why many once-Christian universities are now secular
Exclusive: Richard Rives warns against old adage 'When in Rome ...'
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews evangelist Morris Cerullo
Exclusive: David Rives notes danger in teaching students life has no meaning
Exclusive: Richard Rives warns against pagan influences in worship
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews restoration minister Eddie James
Exclusive: David Rives documents subtle undermining of God's word
Exclusive: Richard Rives reminds us God is not a respecter of persons
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews ministers David Herzog, Kathie Walters, Julie Meyer
Exclusive: David Rives notes justification Hitler used to murder millions
Exclusive: Richard Rives warns against just talking the talk, rather than walking the walk
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews spiritual adviser, minister Shawn Bolz
Exclusive: David Rives notes peer pressure had much to do with accepting old Earth theories
Exclusive: Richard Rives reminds us how early pagans saw Christianity as redefining their own gods
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews pastor, writer James Durham
'The fact is the Lord is placing an emphasis once again on the Middle East'
Exclusive: David Rives notes rise of science fiction came with denial of God's word
Exclusive: Richard Rives notes Roman laws are in opposition to what is described in Scripture
Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews Hank Kunneman and Richard Roberts
Exclusive: David Rives notes some 'big holes' in popular theory
Exclusive: Sid Roth says healthy living is God's idea