NASA identifies Tims Ford fireball

A giant “fireball” streaked across the southern sky on Tuesday extinguishing somewhere near Tims Ford State Park, according to NASA officials. That spot is marked with a blue arrow above. (Image Provided)

LOCAL NEWS — Several Moore County residents reported seeing an unidentified “fireball” streaking across Tims Ford Lake around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, November 30. Well it took a little digging but The Times staff finally figured out exactly what that odd sight actually was.

According to Bill Cook who works at NASA’s Huntsville offices, it was a piece of a comet.

“Numerous eyewitnesses in the Southeastern states reported seeing a very bright fireball. It was detected by all five NASA meteor cameras in the region. An analysis of the video shows that the object – a piece of a comet about a foot in diameter and weighing approximately 60 pounds – began to ablate 55 miles above some fields south of the town of Hillsboro in middle Tennessee. Moving southwest at 62,600 miles per hour, the meteor only managed to travel some 27 miles through the atmosphere before disintegrating 22 miles above Tims Ford State Park. At its peak, the fireball was brighter than the Full Moon, explaining why it was seen in several states,” Cook told Birmingham Meterologist James Spann the following day.

The American Meteor Society (AMS) stated that they received over 40 reports from folks across southern eastern states who spotted the same thing. Folks from Asheville, North Carolina to Lynchburg spotted the object.

If you visit the Tims Ford State Park Facebook page you can see several videos of the fireball captured by area residents. You can also view a video of the event from NASA’s camera located in Tullahoma on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}