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10/01/2013

Meteor Sightings in the 1000′s across the U.S.

Reports of meteor sightings are coming into the American Meteor Society by the thousands. According to one of the latest reports posted at the American Meteor Society website, “Its been a busy week for the AMS as we are bombarded by fireball reports from all different parts of the country. The latest event took place over Alabama and Georgia last night September 28th 7:30 PM local time. Over 250 witnesses from Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama and Georgia have reported the event so far. Below is a heat map of the witnesses who saw the event. Click the image below for the event detail page and witness reports.” [1]
Exactly why these meteors are coming into the atmosphere at this time is unknown. NASA and NOAA have yet to publish any reports on this phenomenon, although they did confirm the September 10, 2013 meteor that streaked across the sky in Alabama in theguardian.com article ‘Meteor enters atmosphere over Alabama and disintegrates, says Nasa’. An excerpt from the article reads, “Officials at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville say a baseball-size fragment of a comet entered Earth’s atmosphere above Alabama at 8:18pm CDT Monday. Nasa officials say the meteor traveled at a speed of 76,000 mph. They say just three seconds after hitting the atmosphere, it disintegrated 25 miles above the central Alabama town of Woodstock, producing a flash of light. Nasa spokeswoman Janet Anderson says that because it penetrated so deep into Earth’s atmosphere, eyewitnesses heard sonic booms.”



The thousands of sightings of meteors are located at the American Meteor Society Observation page, where you can also sign-up to be a registered user. Intellihub.com will be monitoring this news and possibly a separate page for these reports as they happen. [3] Any video reports submitted to Intellihub.com can be emailed to tips@intellihub.com
Interestingly, there are reports of meteor sightings from 40 states, including Atlanta, GA, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee as of September 28, 2013. Register to make reports at http://www.amsmeteors.org/
One explanation of the increase in sighting is mentioned on the American Meteor Society website in the article ‘Meteor Activity Outlook for September 28 – October 4, 2013’ which explains, “The September-October Lyncids (SOL) are only well seen on 3 nights centered on September 29th. Maximum occurs on the 30th when the radiant is located at 07:24 (111) +47. This position lies in western Lynx, 12 degrees north of the second magnitude star known as Castor (Alpha Geminorum). This area of the sky is best placed in the sky during the last hour before dawn, when it lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Rates at maximum are expected to be near one shower member per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere. These meteors can be seen from the tropical southern hemisphere but rates would be less than one per hour. With an entry velocity of 67 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be of swift speed.” [5]
Earthsky.org posted an article by Deborah Byrd titled “U.S. sees another bright fireball on September 27’ which covers the meteor sightings in detail, which reads, “The American Meteor Society (AMS) has reported at least 373 reports of another bright fireball – a very bright meteor, likely a small chunk of natural incoming space debris – over the U.S. last night (September 27, 2013). These reports followed a similar event over approximately the same area the day before (September 26). The AMS called the coincidence of two bright fireballs, or bright meteors, spotted over approximately the same region on consecutive days “surprising.” Witnesses from Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia reported a bright light moving across the night sky on September 27 at around 11:33 p.m. local time, according to the AMS.”

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