Thursday, June 30 2022

GOES-16 observations show that a flash that was later determined originated from a meteor exploding on January 1, 2022. (Image credit: Twitter/NWSPittsburgh)

A meteor passing through Earth’s atmosphere exploded over Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on New Year’s Day (January 1).

Just before 11:30 a.m. EST (4:30 p.m. GMT) on January 1, residents of Pittsburgh heard what sounded like a loud “boom” outside. Reports described windows slamming and objects shaking in their homes, according to CBS Pittsburgh. The sudden explosion took Pittsburgh-area residents by surprise as the meteor smashed into the cloudy morning sky.

According to NASA Meteor Watch.

Related: Stunning images of the Geminid meteor shower

The doomed meteor, which was estimated to be about 3 feet (0.9 meters) in diameter with a mass close to 1,000 pounds (453 kilograms), was likely traveling at around 45,000 mph (72,420 km/h) when shattered into the Earth. atmospheresaid the NASA social media site.

NASA’s Meteor Watch added that if there had been no clouds when the meteor burned up in our atmosphere, the event would have been about 100 times brighter than the full moon and visible in the light of the sun. day.

Through the clouds, however, some say it appeared as a “little purple flash”, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tweeted.

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NOAA added that the event was detected by the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) on the GOES East Earth monitoring satellite.

The lightning-fast event comes just months after a fireball was spotted in the skies of West Virginia, September 17, 2021. The event, which was later determined to be a burning meteor in the atmosphere, also caused a loud “boom” and shook the ground, leading some to suspect a possible earthquake.

“Fireballs” were also reported by skywatchers witnessing what were in fact rocket launches. Skywatchers all along the eastern seaboard of the United States have reported hundreds of sightings following a SpaceX launching in November which sent its Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station.

Email Chelsea Gohd at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.


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