More than 100 people have seen a fireball streak across the night sky over North Carolina, and NASA has confirmed its existence. NASA has confirmed the existence of a fireball streaking over North Carolina last Friday, with more than 100 people reporting it.
More than 80 people spotted the fireball, which NASA said was just one of five such meteors reported soaring over the United States that evening. The fiery meteor “skimmed the coast of North Carolina, becoming visible 48 miles [77 kilometers] above the ocean off Camp Lejeune,” at around 7:40 p.m. ET, NASA said.
According to NASA Meteor Watch, the fireball appeared to be “exceptionally bright” as it skimmed across the night coast at around 7:40 pm. The meteor became visible to the eye at around 48 miles above sea level, and according to the American Meteor Society, the fireball was seen by more than 100 people as it traveled through the sky at 32,000 mph.
The fireball didn’t cause any damage, and throughout its descent, it disintegrated, “28 miles above Morehead City, after traveling 26 miles through Earth’s upper atmosphere”, per NASA. The video that is seen above was taken 15 miles south of Raleigh and was posted by the American Meteor Society.
If a fireball explodes overhead, it can cause serious damage. The most explosive meteor event in recent history, which occurred over the city of Chelyabinsk in central Russia in 2013, created a blast roughly equivalent to 400-500 kilotons of TNT, or 26 to 33 times the energy released by the Hiroshima bomb. Fireballs rained down over Chelyabinsk and its surroundings, damaging buildings, smashing windows and injuring approximately 1,200 people.
The Chelyabinsk explosion is far from the most apocalyptic event caused by a fireball. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that a fireball could have detonated over the ancient Middle Eastern city of Tall el-Hamman around 3,600 years ago. It’s possible that the explosion, which was roughly 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, set the city instantly ablaze before levelling it with a powerful shockwave, killing all of its inhabitants, Live Science previously reported.