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That Loud, Bright Blast Thursday Night? It Was a Meteor


Thursday night, a huge blazing ball could be seen in a good portion of the Louisville area.

People could hear it, too. On Twitter, multiple people from Mount Washington to Palmyra, Ind., said they heard a blast loud enough to shake a house.

It was a meteor.

The fireball began about 40 miles above New Pekin and traveled east at 35,000 miles per hour, according to the Meteoroid Environments Office, an arm of NASA. It burned up south of Seymour with an altitude of about 15 miles.

It all happened at around 10:44 p.m. Thursday.

"This object was about 8 inches in diameter, and the orbit indicates that this was likely a fragment from a Jupiter family comet," said the Meteoroid Environments Office's Bill Cooke in an email. Of bright meteors, less than 1 percent play out like this one.

The fireball could be seen for a couple hundred miles from Seymour.

Here's a video from Cincinnati:

The boom usually happen when fragments slow below the speed of sound, something that only happens when a meteor penetrates deep in the atmosphere, Cooke said.

(Image via NASA's Meteoroid Environments Office)

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.

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