Meteorite spotted over south Alabama


Rebecca Rakowitz

A fireball that was spotted in the sky Saturday night was likely a meteorite dropper, according to Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office 
in Huntsville.

While the fireball was visible in Tuscaloosa, Cooke said in his post the object was more pronounced across the southern part of the state and in the Gulf Coast region.

“Took a look at the eyewitness reports,” Cooke said on Facebook. “The fireball first appeared to the NE of Mobile and moved westerly at about 56,000 miles per hour.”

Taking the brightness and sound associated with the fireball into consideration, Cooke said it was likely a foot or two in diameter and that it likely penetrated low into the atmosphere before fragmenting.

“It seemed to be moving a bit fast to produce meteorites,” Cooke said. “But as I said, there is a lot of disagreement in the accounts by the eyewitnesses; I 
would say it is a possible meteorite 
dropper, and a search of the Doppler weather radar in the area may be helpful in determining if there were meteoritic particles falling to the ground.”