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June 2 Arizona Fireball

6 Jun 2016, 07:01 UTC
June 2 Arizona Fireball
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This is a special report from Arizona that preempts my previously scheduled Sky Lights. You’ll have to wait another week to learn why we call the Moon “the Moon.” I don’t do this often — last time was for the Chelyabinsk meteor impact in February 2013. The Arizona fireball deserves similar coverage. The video is provided by the American Meteor Society (AMS) and includes contributions from around the southwestern US. My apologies for the popup ad, but my thanks to AMS for allowing the embed.
At 03:57 am MST on June 2nd, a large fireball lit up the skies over the southwest. It was seen from California to Texas, and from Colorado to Mexico. It was heard in many eastern Arizona locations and rattled some windows. People were awakened by the bright light outside. I’m not usually up at that early hour, so I missed it. But here’s what I know so far.
NASA estimates the object was 1-2 meters (5 feet) in diameter, with a mass of “a few tons.” It was moving on a north-to-south trajectory at a speed of 64,700 km/hr (40,200 mph). Its kinetic energy was equivalent to about 0.5 kilotons of TNT. The Hiroshima nuclear ...

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