[meteorite-list] Fire That Rocketed Across Sky Was a Meteor-Albuquerque Journal
From: Matt Morgan <mmorgan_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:27:52 2004
Fire That Rocketed Across Sky Was a Meteor
By John Fleck
Journal Staff Writer
Thursday night's fireball over Albuquerque was a meteor— a golf
ball-sized rock from space burning up as it entered Earth's atmosphere,
according to an analysis of videotape shot by a Sandia National Laboratories
The meteor showed up as a streak of light southwest of Albuquerque,
lasting about a second, at 5:40:50 p.m., said Sandia meteor expert Dick
"It was like a firework, like a big firework," said Teresa Gonzales, who
saw the flash from her Rio Rancho back yard.
Spalding coordinates a network of video cameras that monitor the sky
looking for meteors and other unusual phenomena.
The meteor trail was difficult to see in the video image, Spalding said,
but a computer analysis was able to pick it out.
"It was just after sunset, so the sky was bright," he said.
The early evening meteor was one of four recorded overnight Thursday,
Reports from Rio Rancho suggested the meteor fell nearby, but Spalding
said that is unlikely.
Eyewitnesses commonly mistake the distance of a meteor, Spalding said,
thinking it is nearby when it is actually hundreds of miles or more away.
In the case of Thursday evening's sunset meteor, Spalding said he heard
of reports of sightings from as far away as Alamogordo.
Spalding's rough estimate of the space rock's size— golf ball-sized— is
based on an eyewitness account suggesting the rock did not break up until it
reached the lower atmosphere.
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Received on Sat 22 Nov 2003 10:18:23 AM PST