Multiple meteor sightings provide October surprise - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Multiple meteor sightings provide October surprise

This NASA photo shows the outline of a fireball as seen from space; the same meteor spotted in Tennessee Tuesday morning. This NASA photo shows the outline of a fireball as seen from space; the same meteor spotted in Tennessee Tuesday morning.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Recent booms and flashing lights across the Tennessee Valley have some people wondering what all the ruckus in the sky is.

According to NASA, it's the perfect time of the year for scattered meteor showers.

A fireball was spotted across the sky in Jackson, Tennessee, Tuesday morning; it could be seen from Kentucky, Alabama and even Louisiana, according to Bill Cooke with NASA's Meteoroid Environments Office.

A fireball, also a meteor, is given a separate name because of its brightness. In order to be classified as a fireball, the meteor must be brighter than the planet Venus.

Cooke said this fireball was brighter than the moon.

The fireball was officially clocked at 6:11 a.m. local time, with over 60 eyewitness accounts of the sighting across the South.

That wasn't the only report of a meteor in the sky on Tuesday. Cooke confirmed Tuesday night that another meteor was spotted over several counties in North Alabama.

Traveling down to the Earth at over 33,000 miles per hour, Cooke said the booms many people reported hearing where that of the meteor breaking the Earth's sound barrier – over 30 miles above ground.

However, these are not unlikely events. Meteors are occasionally spotted around this time every year. But these meteors appear more visible, even during daylight.

The reason for that? Cooke said it's possible that Jupiter is concentrating the meteors into a group, thus making them more visible from the ground.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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