Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Meteor Cause of Fireball, Boom in South Mississippi

A loud noise that was reported in south Mississippi Wednesday morning was confirmed to be a fireball, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

More than 30 people in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi reported seeing a bright fireball at 8:03 a.m. on Wednesday.

Path of meteor via MEMA.

The sighting was soon followed by numerous reports of loud booms heard in Claiborne and surrounding counties.

Satellites detected several bright flashes associated with the fragmentations of the bolide, which was first spotted 54 miles above the Mississippi River in Alcorn.

It disintegrated about 34 miles above the swampy area north of Minorca, Louisiana.

The fragmentation of the fireball generated an energy equivalent of 3 tons of TNT, which created shockwaves that propagated to the ground, producing the booms and vibrations felt by individuals in the area.

NASA believes the meteor was about a foot in diameter with a weight of 90 pounds. Officials said the meteor ran parallel to the Mississippi River at a speed of 55,000 miles per hour. The meteor broke into pieces as it descended into Earth’s atmosphere.

No injuries or property have been damaged.

Staff report