Bright Meteor Lights Up Atlanta Skies

‘Very bright’ meteor lights up Southeast sky

If you were out and about around 9:30 p.m. Monday and saw a fireball streaking across the sky, you weren’t just seeing things, and you weren’t alone.

The American Meteor Society on its website logged dozens of reports of the meteor from across the Southeast, including several reported sightings around metro Atlanta.

“It was quite large and coming straight down,” reported “Trey J.” from Buford. “It looked like it was really close. There was nothing behind it and it was glowing green. It was amazing.”

“Royce L.” reported that the object appeared to have hit Marietta:

“My first thought was that it was a Roman candle since it was green and large. I live 7 miles east of Marietta and it appeared to fall on Marietta. It lasted 3-4 seconds. I have never seen such a sighting in my 65 years.”

From Tim V. in Acworth: “It was so bright and big that I expect to hear and possibly see the impact. It also had an unusual teal halo color around it with a long tail. I have seen many meteors, but never like this one.”

While there were numerous reports from Georgia, there were far more sightings in Alabama, including some reports of a loud boom in the Birmingham area.

“It was a meteor, a fireball, and a very bright one,” said Bill Cooke, head of the Meteoroid Environments Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

David Dundee, astronomer at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, said the meteor entered the atmosphere at 76,000 mph, and broke up in three seconds about 25 miles above Woodstock, Ala., southwest of Birmingham.

A “fireball camera” at the museum captured video of the meteor as it burned through the atmosphere.

Dundee estimated that the meteor, which was 15 times brighter than Venus, was the size of a baseball, and was probably a comet fragment.

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