NASA Chimes in on Massive Fireball, Sonic Boom Over Louisiana
NASA has chimed in on the dozens of reports of a fireball (and the sonic boom that accompanied it) that appeared over portions of Louisiana and Mississippi.
According to a report from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, "numerous" reports of a huge fireball falling from the sky came in from concerned residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas.
The initial reports came just a few minutes after 8 AM on Wednesday and, soon after the reports of a fireball, reports of a loud "boom" followed. Some of the reports came from New Iberia, Lafayette, and several from Baton Rouge.
When you see a fireball and then hear a boom, one assumption that can be made is that there was something falling into our atmosphere from outer space.
The culprit? A bolide, approximately 54 miles above the earth.
What's a bolide, you ask? The official answer, in layman's terms, is a meteor that explodes due to excessive heating and forms a tremendous fireball.
And the boom, of course, falls under the category of "sonic" (which, redundantly, means "sound").
Are we certain that it was from a meteor/meteorite? No. It could have been a number of things, including a piece of space junk or the price of gasoline coming back down (I just drove by the pumps and, sadly, it wasn't the latter).
Videos of the fireball soon began to circulate on social media, confirming what the dozens of people had reported.
In the video above, you can see the fireball "falling" through the sky towards the right side of the screen.
It seems that the sonic boom caused quite a ruckus for a few people closer to the event:
NASA says that the fireball's explosion was equivalent to 3 tons of TNT being detonated.
And then we have Frankie, whom my mother would have jokingly referred to as Chicken Little, worried about copycat meteors:
The American Meteor Society said that those who did see the fireball can count themselves lucky, as these events are extremely rare and, often, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory website also says that there have been only 14 fireballs of any caliber to happen over the United States since 1988.
If you ever see something strange falling from the sky, you can report it to the American Meteor Society who, supposedly, confirmed that it WAS a bolide, in complete agreement with NASA.
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