Huge Fireball Lights Up Tennessee

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A bright fireball event occurred on Dec. 17 at 8:20:40 PM CST. It started out 52 miles above I-24 just south of Manchester, TN and moved to the northwest at 50,000 mph. The all sky camera lost track of it at an altitude of 23 miles just to the northwest of Shelbyville. The closest camera (Tullahoma, TN) shows that the fireball was about as bright as the full moon, which means we are dealing with an object about 20 inches across and weighing approximately 400 lbs. Orbit indicates this object is a piece of an asteroid, with an aphelion in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and perihelion (closest point to the sun) inside the orbit of Venus.

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