By Miriam Kramer
A rare, long-lasting fireball streaked through the skies of the southeastern United States Thursday night (May 15), putting on a show for stargazers lucky enough to see it from the ground.
The space rock entered Earth's atmosphere above Columbia, South Carolina. The basketball-sized meteoroid then moved northwest at about 78,000 mph (125,500 km/h), burning up above Tennessee, according to a statement from Bill Cooke of NASA's meteoroid environment office at Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. NASA's skyward-pointing cameras captured an amazing video of the long-duration fireball.
"This fireball was not part of any meteor shower and belongs to a class of meteors called Earthgrazers," Cooke wrote in the statement. "These meteors skim along the upper part of the atmosphere before burning up. This one traveled a distance of 290 miles [467 km], which is quite rare for a meteor." . . .
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