15 February 2009

Kentucky Fireball 13FEB09

KENTUCKY FIREBALL: On Friday, Feb. 13th, around 10:00 pm EST, people in central Kentucky heard loud booms, felt their houses shake, and some saw a fireball streaking through the sky. The nature of this event is still under investigation. Possibilities include a small asteroid or a piece of space junk entering Earth's atmosphere. National Weather Service reports that the fireball was debris from the Feb. 10th collision of Iridium 33 and Kosmos 2251 satellites may be premature. Stay tuned for updates.

A colleague just called reporting a possible fireball over Erlangen, Kentucky at 10:04PM Eastern Daylight tonight 13 Feb 2009. She was not the direct observer but relaying details from a relative who made the observationA greenish-white fireball approximately 2/3rd the diameter of the full moon was observed through a south southeastern facing window falling near vertically. No Magnitude estimate other than "it lit up the room" and "moving very fast". Elton
[meteorite-list] Fireball Alert: North Central Kentucky

I've spent several hours going over internet forums, scanner reports, etc. and the preponderance of sonic boom reports are coming from London, KY. Some reports from Richmond, KY to the North of London.
Visual Observers have been mentioned from Southern Ohio, Central Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, and Western South Carolina. Those with detail seem to confirm this was a steeply vertical track. Based on what I have gleaned, and trying to be conservative, nothing thus far precludes that this could have been a meteorite dropping fireball. When/if we get satellite observation data please give me a heads up.
London is on Interstate 75 near the Tennessee state line North of Jelico, TN west of Middlesboro, KY. South of Lexington KY. I am about 100 miles away in Knoxville. I'm putting together a resource pack to take to the London Corbin area Tuesday. If anyone is headed to the area please let me know so we can coordinate.
Source: Elton Jones, USA


The Kentucky fireball Friday night (9:00 PM Central,10:00 PM Eastern on 13 February; 03:00 UTC Feb 14) was observed from at least four states: Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

The following blog has some reports and a map of report locations:

It seems to have been going east to west. One good report from Owensboro, KY, says that from there it appeared at 45 degrees altitude, disappeared at 15 degrees, and (if I understand correctly) was going almost straight down. This observer estimates the magnitude at -6 to -7 -- from west central Kentucky.

The following site has some reports from southeast Tennessee:
Source: Ed Cannon - Austin, Texas, USA


Oscar Crawford said...

I lived in Fountain Run, Kentucky on a farm in the early 1960s. One morning (springtime I think) I witnessed streaks across the sky and explosions of color that school the ground. There may have been 10 or more. Is there a way to validate this through any reports. I was 10 or 12 years old.

Karol Kingsley said...

this might help ! The photo that is going around that is rumor to be a fire due to meteor hitting ky . The picture is actually taken from the gas line explosion in dec. 2012 in Wva. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/11/sissonville-west-virginia-explosion_n_2279577.html

I live in kentucky & have seen no photos of them hitting or seen it on the news. all people say they heard was a loud noise and streaks of light in the sky.

Karol Kingsley said...

I live in kentucky. the news states that while several did hear a loud noise one meteor was caught on security cam shooting threw the sky. I have not seen anything where one did damage or photo of a site one crashed as of now. The explosion or fire photo that was started by imgur.com is actually a picture of the gas line explosion in wva. dec. 2012.