By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)
A meteor brighter than the moon shot across the southeastern sky Thursday morning, and the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville caught it all on tape.
As part of NASA’s Network of Fireball cameras, Tellus has an eye on the sky 24/7, catching several bright meteors a night. This particular fireball, which streaked across the early morning sky around 3:30am, was so intense, the museum’s camera actually had to be recalibrated.
The 90-pound meteor luckily did not make landfall, burning up 200 miles above the Earth. It’s actually rare for meteorites to pass intact through the atmosphere, Tellus Astronomer David Dundee says---Rare, but one fell in Cartersville as recently as 2009.
“This was a call from a lady who said, ‘gee, I have a hole in my roof.’ We went out and sure enough this rock had come through her attic, through the ceiling, bounced off a door and landed on the floor of her bedroom,” Dundee says. “It’s on display---the only place you can see it in the world is at Tellus Science Museum.
“Meteorites are named for where they fall,” he says, “so this is the Cartersville Meteorite.”
Tellus’ Fireball Camera is one of six in the southeast. It’s funded through NASA’s Office of Astronaut Safety.