CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – A fireball is a meteor that shines brighter than the planet Venus in the night sky, and according to the NASA Meteor Watch, one passed just south of Morgantown, West Virginia last week.
The NASA Meteor Watch reported that the fireball passed over Ohio and West Virginia on Thursday, Dec. 1 but was seen from at least 14 states with more than 1100 people reporting it to the American Meteor Society (AMS).
In a news release published Monday, the AMS said that the fireball entered the atmosphere north of Morganville, Ohio at 7:34 p.m. (EST), traveling east. During its 113-mile journey, the fireball passed over Tyler, Wetzel and Marion counties in West Virginia before disintegrating 19 miles above Ringgold, an unincorporated community just south of Morgantown on US Route 119 in Monongalia County.
According to the AMS, the fireball was visible for approximately 10 seconds, which is a relatively long duration for a fireball. While the meteor that caused the fireball likely disintegrated completely before it reached Earth, the AMS said that it was only about five inches in diameter and weighed around three pounds.
Three NASA meteor cameras in Ohio and Pennsylvania captured the fireball, and witnesses in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Ontario, Canada also reported seeing it, said the AMS.