Saturday, October 5, 2013

Another Fireball 'burns brightly with a tail of fire'

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Another fireball 'burns brightly with a tail of fire' as it streaks across Alabama sky (video)

As thousands looked down on the football field in Tuscaloosa, many others were reportedly looking up at a possible meteor streaking through the sky over the stadium Saturday evening.

An eyewitness in Bryant-Denny Stadium reported that she was surrounded by screaming Alabama fans when "the fireball appeared in the sky above the upper deck and burned brightly with a tail of fire and disappeared within about 5 seconds."

For less than 10 seconds, a bright flash of light was visible over north and central Alabama, according to more than 200 eyewitness sightings posted on the American Meteor Society's website.

The AMS has mapped the reports it received from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Accounts from Alabama eyewitnesses – from Montgomery, Auburn, Cullman, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Decatur, Huntsville and elsewhere – range from the scientific to the spiritual.

An account from Montgomery reads: "Twilight observation. This was a very bright, sustained sighting that lasted approx. 7 seconds. Very slight downward arcing path. Much brighter and larger than any of the Perseids."

"It was beautiful. Life affirming. I feel very small," a Birmingham witness said.

A Cullman observer summed up the sighting, saying it was "the best meteor that I (have) ever seen in 50 years of observing meteors."

The reports come just a few weeks after a bright fireball passed unusually close to the earth's surface at 8:18 p.m. Sept. 9 and solicited reports of sightings from Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

If you think you saw a meteor Saturday tonight, you can report the location on the AMS website.



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