Meteor seen burning up from much of Eastern U.S.

Near Earth Asteroid

Near Earth Asteroid 19970627, An example of objects which could impact Earth,

On Friday March 22nd 2013 at about 8:00pm a meteor was observed that was seen from Maine to North Carolina. The American Meteor Society has received over 715 reports of this bright meteor by 1:24am 3/23/13.   This object was also seen as far inland as Ohio. This recent sighting comes on the heels of a meteor impact in Russia that injured about 1000 people and cause significant property damage, and the close passing of asteroid DA14 last month. Thus far NASA has stated this was not the re-entry of some man made satellite and was not a predicted object.

 

Video of Meteor seen from Eastern U.S. 3/22/13

This sighting is timely as the United States Congress, this very week, was informed that the odds of an impact which could end life on Earth was 1 in 20,000 this year. More funding is being requested by NASA but the amount is trivial and will not allow NASA to finish mapping the skies, identifying 90 percent of these objects until as late as 2030.

Only 10 percent of the smaller “city killers” have been identified. These smaller objects  are not as well tracked. One has to wonder if we are seeing a higher than normal number of these objects for some reason or are we just hearing about them more due to the social media. In any case it is not a case of if one will impact Earth, it is only a question of when. There are many tracked near Earth close approach objects we do know about and none of them are predicted to impact Earth. But of course it is the ones that we do not know about that should make us worry. We will post updates here on this recent Meteor sighting as information becomes available.

About the author

Recipient of many prestigious NASA Awards including the Exceptional Public Service Medal and the Robert H. Goddard award. Experience includes working for NASA, as a contractor, in satellite design, construction and operations. Expert in the satellite operations concepts and ground systems including command, control, and science data processing.