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The Sciences

Fireball lights up the sky: South African division

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitNovember 30, 2009 11:00 PM


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A little while back, a bright fireball lit up the evening sky in Utah. There was a repeat performance just last week, on November 21, this time in South Africa. A CCTV camera captured the dramatic scene: If you happened to see this fireball and got footage, the local news wants to see it. The more footage that's available, the better scientists can understand the meteoroid that burned up, including getting a trajectory and possibly even an orbit for it. I'll add that the Utah and African events are almost certainly unrelated; they happened days apart. At orbital speeds, that means the two objects were probably millions of kilometers apart in space, and so most likely coincidental.

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