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Meteor: Fireball over US prompts fears of plane crash and alien invasion 'Scary stuff'


Residents of mid-eastern US were treated to a spectacular astronomical display over the weekend as a large fireball ploughed through the atmosphere. Witnesses reported seeing the blazing meteorite for up to 12 seconds as it made its way through the skies.

Hundreds of people reported seeing the object to the International Meteor Organisation (IMO).

One video of the meteor shows it dropping through the sky, increasing and decreasing in brightness before it gradually petered out.

The burst was so intense that some believed they were witnessing a plane crash.

Megan reported to the IMO: “I thought it was a plane on fire not a shooting star that’s how close it was.”

Justin added: “This was the longest sighting. I started counting at soon as it started looking odd, so, it may have been longer than 12 seconds, and the direction may have been coming at me, then going away, I didn’t move once I first saw it.

“It was bright like a helicopter, and at the time I thought it was a helicopter had exploding.

“Scary stuff, but, exciting once I noticed the characteristics that looked like a meteor.”

Others were so mesmerised by the incident they assumed an alien invasion was taking place.

READ MORE: UK meteor mapped: Where did the meteorite fragments land?

Thankfully, there were no plane crashes or alien invasions, and the phenomenon can be attributed to a small meteor hitting the atmosphere.

Meteors can produce such an intense burst of light as air – which they had not encountered before they hit Earth’s atmosphere – gets into the pores of the rocks, forcing them to explode.

The IMO said: “Fireballs are meteors that appear brighter than normal.

“Due to the velocity at which they strike the Earth’s atmosphere, fragments larger than one millimetre have the capability to produce a bright flash as they streak through the heavens above.

“These bright meteors are what we call fireballs and they often strike fear and awe for those who witness them.”


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