SCIENCE
09/05/2013 04:35 pm ET

Fireball Outshines Moon In New NASA Footage Captured Over Southeastern U.S. (VIDEOS)

A luminous fireball that blazed across the southeastern sky on Aug. 28 is being called one of the brightest meteors observed in the past five years.

In footage of the spectacular early morning sight, released by NASA's Marshall TV this week, the fireball outshines the moon as it enters the Earth's atmosphere near the Georgia-Tennessee border, streaking across a range of southern states.

The space rock is estimated to have spanned two feet in diameter and likely weighed more than 100 pounds, according to NASA.

"The meteor was moving northeast at 56,000 miles per hour, and began to break apart north east of Ocoee, [Tenn.,] at an altitude of 33 miles. A second, fragmentation occurred less than half a second later, at an altitude of 29 miles," NASA wrote on its Watch the Skies blog. Small fragments of the meteor reportedly rained down on parts of Tennessee, east of the city of Cleveland.

NASA uses the term fireball to describe exceptionally bright meteors that can be seen blazing across a considerable distance.

Earlier this year, in March, social media was abuzz after a bright object traveled across the northeast over Washington, D.C. NASA's Bill Cooke, head of the Meteoroid Environmental Office, later labeled the widely seen sight a "single meteor event" and described the fireball as being "as bright as the full moon."

Watch the most recent fireball outshine the moon as it blazes across the southeastern U.S. in video footage (captured from different angles) above and below.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Meteor Showers
CONVERSATIONS