STUART, Va. – While the SpaceX rocket launch was faintly visible to some in southwest Virginia Wednesday night, there was something else that really lit up the early night sky.
We broke it down in the short video you see below on Virginia Today.
This long exposure photo (below) shows the SpaceX rocket, the fireball and the rocket’s first phase re-entry looking out from Fancy Gap.
Coleman also sent 10 News video of the fireball.
Watch the full video below from Sycamore Baptist Church in Stuart.
Hundreds of reports of a fireball have been logged with the American Meteor Society. These reports range from as far south as South Carolina to as far north as Long Island.
According to the American Meteor Society, a fireball is a meteor that is brighter than the planet Venus in the night sky.
NASA’s Meteor Watch posted to Facebook that the 45-pound fireball burned up over Greenville, North Carolina. It was moving at about 33,000 miles-per-hour.
In addition, Tony Rice, an ambassador to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory hypothesizes that this wasn’t space junk re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. However, he says it was actually space rock. The above post from NASA Meteor Watch confirms it to be of “asteroidal origin.”
I’m guessing this was a space rock.— Tony Rice (@rtphokie) November 11, 2021
The only bit of space junk on @AerospaceCorp ‘s list of anticipated reentries is a Starlink sat which should be able to maintain orbit for another couple days. pic.twitter.com/Bf4yqKsvpx
The American Meteor Society says, “Several thousand meteors of fireball magnitude occur in the Earth’s atmosphere each day. The vast majority of these, however, occur over the oceans and uninhabited regions, and a good many are masked by daylight.”
Actually observing a fireball this bright, however, is quite rare for even experienced observers.