A meteorite fall was recorded over Virginia, USA.

There have been many reports of explosion-like sounds associated with a pair of fireball sightings over northern Virginia around 14:30 UTC September 17 (10:30 a.m. EDT). Astronomers attribute what happened to a meteorite falling in Virginia.

The currently available data are insufficient to determine the trajectory, but at 14:24 UTC a strong fireball-like signature appears in the GOES 16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) data, allowing an estimate of the energy of this event1.

A comparison with a previous fireball with good ground data and GLM data shows that the brightness of this morning meteor is -12, which corresponds to the brightness of the full moon.

This corresponds to an energy between 1 and 2 tons of TNT, giving a mass of about 22.5 kg (50 pounds) for the fireball-causing object — assuming a typical velocity of 72,000 km/h (45,000 mph).

“The fragmentation of the object caused a pressure wave recorded by seismometers and infrasound instruments in the area,” the NASA Meteor Watch report said.

“A very quick analysis of the infrasound signal indicates an energy of several tons of TNT, which is quite consistent with the GLM energy estimate.”

No camera images have yet emerged due to heavy cloud cover over the region.

It is possible that the event caused a meteorite fall somewhere in the northern Virginia/eastern West Virginia area.

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