NASA: Fireball over Southeast US traveled at 53,700 mph

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Huntsville, Ala. (AP) – NASA says a fireball that streaked across the Southeastern US sky was traveling about 53,700 mph (86,400 kph) when it lit up the night over Alabama.

The Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center says numerous people saw a very bright streak early Friday.

A statement and video posted on Facebook says an analysis shows the meteor was first seen at an altitude of about 58 miles above rural Turkeytown, which is about 80 miles northeast of Birmingham.

The office estimates a small asteroid about 6 feet in diameter then broke apart about 18 miles above the town of Oak Grove. It was at least 40 times as bright as the full moon at one point.

Researchers are assessing whether any fragments from the rock might have hit the ground.