A fireball from outside lights up the night sky from southern Utah to Tucson to California

Street. George – Scientists do not officially say that it was a meteorite, but it was a meteorite.

Image from doorbell camera video showing a meteor over a tornado, Utah, October 25, 2022 | Image via video courtesy of Sandy Lane, St. George’s News

A fireball lit up the sky across the region from Cedar City to Mesquite at 7:53 p.m. EDT Monday night. Captured on some doorbell cameras, the meteor can be seen shining and apparently disintegrating enough that many on social media have reported that they believe the meteor remnant must have landed at Milford.

or a hurricane. Or Bloomington. or mesquite.

But the sights were not limited to southern Utah. On social media, people in Peoria, Arizona, Las Vegas and Rancho Mirage, California, were also certain that some plots had landed in their area.

Phil Plait, better known as “bad astronomer” Because of his books and media appearances on the Discovery and National Geographic channels, St. George told News it was unlikely that any part of the meteorite would hit Earth and that it was the size of one of the basketballs fired by the Utah Jazz on Monday. night.

“Personally, I can’t measure the size of the meteor from videos or reports, but judging by the brightness it wasn’t too big… less than a meter across for sure. Basketball might be right,” Plett said. The meteorites smashed the Earth. Most likely it burned completely.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the American Meteorological Society had received 125 individual reports from Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California of meteor sightings on its site. Fireball Reports page. The report was in the far north of Nona, Utah, just south of Provo; In the far south was Tucson, Arizona. Farther west is Calabasas, California, in the Los Angeles area where a “green glow” and “lots of flames” have been reported.

Reports locally ranged from “too big and bright enough to light the outside area” in Beaver to “audible noise” in Dixie and sunset in St. George to someone in Mesquite wondering if it was a fireworks.

Map showing all reported meteorite sightings on October 24, 2022 | Map provided by the American Meteorological Society, St. George’s News | Click to enlarge

Hurricane resident Sandy Lane captured it on her doorbell camera.

“I wish we had seen it with our own eyes,” Lynn said.

In the video, the meteor can be seen from the balcony, growing in brightness as it descends and lights the street like a bolt of lightning. It reaches its maximum brightness before it appears to disintegrate.

And that’s exactly what happened, Plait said.

“Many videos show it suddenly increasing in brightness several times for a fraction of a second,” said Plett, who has written a piece about the process called “Pie.” “It’s possible that those from the main piece disintegrate due to their pressure hitting our atmosphere. This flattens the incoming rocks.”

“This causes it to break into smaller pieces, and the sudden increase in surface area because there are multiple pieces now makes them get brighter very quickly. If you watch a video Chelyabinsk asteroid from 2013, you can see the same thing although this was much smaller. ”

While the annual Orionid meteorite peaked over the weekend, Plett doesn’t think a Monday night meteor was connected to this shower, composed of debris from Halley’s Comet.

“I doubt this was an Orionid because those tend to be small,” Plett said, noting that Orionids are usually larger than the size of a pebble.

And there’s no reason to panic that fireballs are about to become alarmingly prolific.

“There is approximately 100 tons of meteoric debris burning in our atmosphere every single day,” Plett said.

American Meteor Society astronomer Robert Lunsford, author of Meteorites and How to Observe Them, told St.

“One of the members is likely to be the Taurid meteor shower, which is expected to produce an increased number of fireballs over the next two weeks,” Lunsford said. Some call it a ‘swarm’, but it’s actually a concentration of larger than normal particles from Comet Encke that has caused Jupiter’s gravitational disturbance.

This disturbance causes this concentration to approach Earth every three or seven years. The last swarm of torpedoes was in 2015.”

Lunsford added that people who thought they saw the meteor hitting the Earth literally were seeing things.

“Reaching to Earth is just an optical illusion as these fireballs disintegrate while still several miles high in the atmosphere,” he said. “Being made of comet material, it is brittle and does not survive being submerged in the atmosphere.”

Copyright St. George’s News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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