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Fireball streaks across the sky, stuns hundreds in southeastern US Thursday morning

April 04, 2019; 2:40 PM

More than 330 people reported seeing a meteor streak across the sky in southeastern United States early Thursday, according to the American Meteor Society.

Most of the sightings occurred shortly before 7 a.m. EST Thursday, and witnesses describe a tail of blue and green trailed behind it.

"It appears there was a meteor around 6:50 a.m. this morning, it passed near the North Carolina and South Carolina border east of Charlotte," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said.

According to Samuhel, skies were mostly clear and it happened just before sunrise.

"It is considered a fireball, which is basically a meteor that is brighter than the planet Venus appears," Samuhel said.


Preliminary analysis by the American Meteor Society reveals a trajectory beginning between Columbia, South Carolina, and Charlotte, North Carolina, before ending near Wilmington, North Carolina.

"According to the American Meteor Society, it was spotted as far away as Louisville, Kentucky, and just north of Orlando, Florida," Samuhel said.

Onlookers from Tennessee also reported seeing the fireball light up the sky.

"The meteor likely burned up many miles above the Earth's surface, roughly 50 miles. So it was not a threat to air traffic," Samuhel said.

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"A meteor is just a small piece of rock, iron, or icy debris, that can be as small as a grain of sand and trigger a flash in the atmosphere," Samuhel said.

NASA says you probably won't find any parts of the meteor on the ground, because most meteors come from comets, which are fragile and pieces of them don't often make their way to Earth's surface. When they do, it's difficult to distinguish them from normal rocks.

People took to social media with wonder and speculation.

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