Fireball sighting over Indiana confirmed by American Meteor Society

Entrepreneur's Journal

It's a bird! It's a plane!

It's actually not, and it's not Superman. It's a fireball.

A fireball passed over Central Indiana as well as several other states around 1:50 a.m. Friday, the American Meteor Society confirmed.
Heat map and computed trajectory of the July 22nd fireball event over Indiana, USA on Friday July 22, 2022, at 01:52 EDTAmerican Meteor Society

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — People all across the WLFI viewing area and beyond were treated to a celestial light show early Friday morning.

Just before 2 a.m. Friday morning, a meteor streaked across the sky. A few viewers were lucky enough to catch the fireball on their home security cameras.

Fireballs are extremely bright meteors that can be seen over a wide area. They usually appear brighter than normal

The American Meteor Society website lists 107 fireball reports all from around 1:50 a.m. Friday.

The American Meteor Society says the brightness of a fireball is generally brighter than magnitude negative-4, which is about the same magnitude of planet Venus, which is seen in the morning or evening skies.

Since the meteor didn't land, scientists have little info on where it came from. However, they can speculate on some the details.

"The main thing that gives us an idea is the wide area that it was seen, plus the fact that it only lasted a few seconds," Robert Lunsford, fireball report coordinator for AMS.

This particular fireball was likely not part of any specific meteor shower, because meteor showers usually peak just before dawn and this was just before 2 a.m., Lunsford said.

Meteors occur when debris crosses into the Earth's atmosphere at high speeds and burns up. A fireball is an especially bright meteor.

Generally, fireballs have about the same brightness as the planet Venus as it can be seen in the morning or evening skies, according to AMS.

Sightings were reported in Alabama, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Wisconsin and Ohio, in addition to Indiana.

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