NASA says it has found fragments of a meteorite that exploded while flying over 3 southern US states

(ORDO NEWS) — Days after a fireball was spotted in the skies over three southern states, NASA scientists confirmed that meteor fragments had been found on the ground in Mississippi.

According to NASA, the exceptionally bright meteor was traveling at 35,000 miles per hour (previously scientists thought it was traveling at 55,000 miles per hour) when it exploded in the sky near the Louisiana-Mississippi border.

“There are confirmed reports of meteorites in the area east of Natchez,” NASA said, sharing a picture of one of the meteorite fragments on Facebook Monday.

Dozens of people in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi reported seeing a meteor in the sky around 8 a.m. Wednesday after hearing a loud rumble in the area.

At its peak, the fireball was more than 10 times brighter than the full moon, officials said. The fireball disintegrated about 34 miles above Louisiana swampland, releasing “energy equivalent to 3 tons of TNT,” NASA said.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency previously posted a satellite image on Facebook showing the bright object just east of the Louisiana-Mississippi border, along with NASA confirmation. The agency said the fireball caused no injury or property damage and that it swept parallel to the Mississippi River.

By law, the meteorites belong to the owner of the property they fell on, so NASA said it would not disclose the location of the found fragments.

NASA also said it would not authenticate possible meteorite finds and directed the public to a meteorite site run by Washington University in St. Louis.

“We don’t deal with meteorites as our primary concern is to protect spacecraft and astronauts from meteorites,” NASA said. Therefore, we won’t be able to identify any strange rocks you might find – please don’t send us pictures of the rocks.

NASA said that if the information is confirmed, it will be the fifth recorded meteorite fall in Mississippi. Others occurred in 1854, 1910, 1922 and 2012.


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