Hundreds of eyewitnesses in the state of Florida have filed reports on the American Meteor Society website (https://www.amsmeteors.org) of a bright fireball seen out over the Atlantic Ocean at 10:16:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time (2021 April 13 2:16:40 UTC). The event was recorded by 3 NASA all sky meteor cameras (located at KSC, the University of Central Florida and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona), and the data from these cameras, along with that from a video recording made by an member of the public in Lake Somerset, were used to calculate a trajectory and orbit for this meteor. It entered the atmosphere at a fairly steep angle of 50 degrees from the vertical and became visible 62 miles above the water at longitude 79 degrees West, latitude 26.2 degrees North. Moving slightly east of north, the meteor flew over the western tip of Grand Bahama Island before breaking apart 23 miles above the Atlantic. It was caused by a fragment of an asteroid estimated to weigh some 900 pounds and having a diameter of over 2 feet hitting the atmosphere at 38,000 miles per hour. This translates to a kinetic energy of about 14 tons of TNT, explaining the flashes of light that lit up the sky as the fragment broke apart.
The fireball was bright enough to be easily detected by the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) on the GOES 16 satellite.
|Date (UTC)||April 13, 2021|
|NASA Camera Start Lat/Lon||+26.199, -79.032|
|NASA Camera End Lat/Lon||+26.837, -78.949|
|NASA Camera Altitude||98.9 km → 37.3 km ( 61.4 miles→ 23.2 miles)|
|NASA Camera Speed||16.7 km/s (37,400 mph)|
|Notes||flash brighter than the full Moon|