If you live in or near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, you may have caught an amazing sight early Tuesday morning: a bright fireball lit up the sky shortly before sunrise, and it was captured by NASA’s sky-observing cameras.
According to the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook Page, the fireball (or, meteor, to be scientifically accurate), packed quite a punch.
“This morning (2015 February 17), a space rock about 2 feet in diameter and weighing roughly 500 pounds entered Earth’s atmosphere above western Pennsylvania. First detected by 3 NASA meteor cameras at an altitude of 60 miles above Beaver Falls, the fireball moved almost due east at a speed of 45,000 miles per hour. It flared brighter than the Full Moon before the cameras lost track of it at an altitude of 13 miles above the town of Kittanning.”
NASA believes that the meteor likely broke up over the town of Kittanning.
“There may be fragments (meteorites) scattered on the ground east of that location.”
That means that if you live in or around Kittanning, grab your metal detectors and start looking – that is, if you’re willing to brave the brutal cold that’s gripping that part of the nation.
The American Meteor Society reports that the Pennsylvania meteor was also seen over New York, Ohio, Michigan, and parts of Canada.
— AMSMETEORS (@amsmeteors) February 17, 2015
The Pennsylvania meteor is particularly unusual because the Earth is currently at a lull in the annual cycle of meteor showers, according to Star Date. The next regular meteor shower will be the Lyrids, taking place the night of April 21 and early morning of April 22.
Did you see the Pennsylvania meteor? Share your experiences in the comments below.
[Image courtesy of: NASA]