STARGAZERS were given a spectacular treat when an “earthgrazer” meteor fireball hurtled 186 miles through the night sky before ending up above Tennessee.
Fascinating images of the fireball were captured by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center captured spectacular images of the ‘earthgrazer’ fireballCredit: Twitter
A map of its trajectory showed it stretched across Georgia and into Alabama before ending above the town of Lutts in Tennessee.
NASA Meteor Watch, a group that collects the work of meteor experts and amateurs, posted an update of the Fireball on Facebook.
“Last night’s fireball over Georgia and Alabama was what we call an earthgrazer, in which the meteor’s trajectory is so shallow it just skims across the upper atmosphere for a long distance,” it said.
The event was described by the group as “a rare meteor for those fortunate enough to see it.”
Footage from a meteor camera at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, shows part of the fireball’s path.
The annual Taurid meteor shower is currently underway and at its peak in the northern hemisphere.
As fragments left over from Comet Encke enter the Earth’s atmosphere, they burn up and create dazzling shooting stars.
What is the Taurid meteor shower?
The Taurid meteor shower appears to come from the constellation of Taurus, which is just above Orion.
There are actually two strings of showers to the Taurids, the northern and southern.
Although currently at its peak the meteor shower this year lasts from around October 20 until December 10, according to Science Focus.
The best time for stargazers to catch a glimpse is usually between midnight and 5am.
Approximately five to ten shooting stars will be visible every hour throughout the night.
The Taurids meteor shower is the debris from a comet named Encke, which was first discovered more than 200 years ago.
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