A bright fireball that out shined the moon lit up the sky over the American South last week.
According to NASA, the fireball was "one of the brightest observed by the network in 5 years of operations."
"From Chickamauga, Georgia, the meteor was 20 times brighter than the full moon; shadows were cast on the ground as far south as Cartersville," said Bill Cooke, head of the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
The asteroid, which was captured by all six NASA cameras in the Southeast, is believed to have been about 2 feet wide and to have weighed 100 pounds. The rock reportedly hit Earth's atmosphere above the Georgia/Tennessee border at 3:27 a.m. EDT on Wednesday Aug. 28, moving northeast at 56,000 mph.
"NASA cameras lost track of the fireball pieces at an altitude of 21 miles, by which time they had slowed to a speed of 19,400 mph," Cooke wrote. "Sensors on the ground recorded sound waves ('sonic booms') from this event, and there are indications on Doppler weather radar of a rain of small meteoritic particles falling to the ground east of Cleveland, Tennessee."