National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Meteor Watch mentioned in a post on Monday that a fireball travelling at an estimated 42,000 miles per hour, was spotted over the skies of northern Vermont and Canada on Sunday night. According to NASA’s post, more than 100 people saw the meteor around 5:38 p.m. local time on Sunday.
The post also mentioned that the meteor travelled at a speed of 21 kilometers per second and it traversed 33 miles, which is 53 kilometers through the upper atmosphere, before combusting into flames above Beach Hill in Orleans County south of Newport, US.
The post also mentioned that the space object was most likely a fragment of an asteroid that penetrated deeper into the atmosphere. As it entered the Earth’s atmosphere, pressure built upon its front while a partial vacuum formed behind it, NASA explained. Flying up at 30 miles high, the pressure difference between front and back exceeded the meteor’s structural strength. The space rock fragmented violently as it sped through the Canadian and American skies, producing a pressure wave that rattled buildings and generated the sound heard by those near the trajectory, mentioned NASA’s post.
The American space agency warned that such an immense pressure wave can also couple into the ground that could cause minor “tremors" which can be picked up by seismic instruments in the area. The wave itself can be detected by infrasound, which is a low-frequency sound that can travel great distances. The Facebook post shared a few images of the seismic activity recorded by the infrasound station that proved how the Meteor’s fly by left the region shook.
NASA obtained the infrasound measurements from three nearby stations and said that the amplitudes and durations of the signals put the energy of the fireball fragmentation at 440 pounds (200 kilograms) of TNT. In its post, NASA explained that they can combine this energy with the speed to get a mass and size of the object equal to 10 pounds, which is 4.5 kilograms and 6 inches, and15 centimeters in diameter.