Fireball Activity Increasing!

Posted on: 7:35 pm, August 6, 2013, by , updated on: 09:05pm, August 6, 2013

Multiple reports came in Sunday evening, just after 8:00 pm of a meteor that streaked across the sky over northwest Alabama.  Two of the six cameras of NASA’s All Sky Fireball Network located over the Southeast United States were turned on at the time, but since the sighting was so close to sunset, the sky was still too light for fireball detection.  According to reported fireball observations from the American Meteor Society, Dr. Bill Cooke lead of NASA’s Meteoroid Office in Huntsville, estimates that the fireball started over Missouri and broke up over the Tennessee/Mississippi state line near Holly Springs (north Mississippi).

The fireball seen Sunday evening was not the only fireball that streaked across the sky over the weekend, in fact since Friday night, the All Sky Fireball Network detected at least 10 fireballs streaking across north Alabama, southern Tennessee and northwest Georgia.  Below is a still image of a fireball that moved over the Winchester, Tennessee area just before 3:30 am early Saturday morning.

Fireball seen over Winchester, TN, captured by NASA's All Sky Fireball Network.

Fireball seen over Winchester, TN, captured by NASA’s All Sky Fireball Network.

Fireball activity has increased due to the southern Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower that peaked in late July and the ongoing Perseid Meteor Shower, which is known as one of the best of the year.  Expect to have a greater chance to see more fireballs in the night sky as the Perseid Meteor shower peaks during the night of August 11th and early morning hours of August 12th.  According to Dr. Bill Cooke, if the weather cooperates and there is a clear sky, you could potentially see up to 60-100 meteors an hour!

Happy Sky Watching!

- Jennifer Watson

Twitter: @JWatson_Wx

Facebook: Jennifer Watson WHNT