The truth is out there: NASA explains 'fireball' in Louisiana sky

Meteor! Early Wednesday, folks from Tennessee to Thibodaux spotted a quick flash move across the sky. NASA confirms it was a meteor.

NEW ORLEANS -- If you went outside this morning and thought you saw something shooting across the sky, you are not alone.

Local TV and radio stations, the National Weather Service and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office all received reports of people seeing something shoot across the sky, apparently somewhere over Lake Pontchartrain around 7 a.m.

According to Carlton Dufrechou, the director of the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission, a check with NASA revealed that it was likely a meteor traveling at about 90,000 mph, breaking up as it entered the atmosphere.

The National Weather Service Tweeted out a link showing where people reported seeing a 'fireball' and it's map includes a lot of the southeast.

Over 100 eyewitnesses have reached out to NASA from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia, but according to the government agency, none of their cameras could capture the mysterious light.

"Unfortunately the all sky cameras in the region had already shut down to protect themselves from the bright Sun, forcing us to rely solely on the eyewitness reports for trajectory analysis," a statement from NASA said.

Based on the reports they've recieved, NASA is reporting that the meteor was first seen about 65 miles above the town of Sawyersville in western Alabama, moving northwest at about 89,000 miles per hour. It eventually fragmented 41 miles above Louisville, Miss. according to NASA.

Due to the brightness, NASA is estimating that the metor weighed about 5 lbs and was about 5 inches in diameter.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office received so many calls that they posted to their Facebook page.

"We can't make this up," said the post. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office received multiple calls around 7 a.m. about a possible meteorite that was seen over Lake Pontchartrain. People called reporting a strange, green streak shoot across the sky. There was no evidence or indication that suggests it was a flare and we have no distress calls in the lake. This was even observed by some law enforcement officers as well. Very strange."





(© 2016 WWL)


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