Meteor hunters descended on open field in Missouri looking for the rock that caused a sonic boom

Scientists determined the approximately 220-pound rock traveled through the sky at 33,500 mph, faster than the speed of sound, causing a sonic boom.

Associated Press
November 14, 2019 - 9:34 am
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ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOX) - Meteorite hunters were scouring farm fields for remnants of a basketball-size hunk of rock that blazed across the sky in the St. Louis area.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that several Washington University researchers and a separate duo that included Science Channel show "Meteorite Men'' costar Steve Arnold began their search Wednesday. They used NASA weather radar data to find a promising Warren County field about 70 miles (112.65 kilometers) west of St. Louis where they believed chunks of the fireball may have landed Monday.

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They later shifted the search to another cattle-filled pasture after data suggested that wind may have changed the meteorite' path. The scientists called it quits after about 7 .5 hours of searching without finding anything, although they said they might try again another day.

NASA says a meteor seen streaking through the sky behind the Gateway Arch in St. Louis was a basketball-size hunk of rock that broke off from an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Experts used hundreds of eyewitness accounts from as far away as South Dakota and Minnesota along with two videos to calculate the meteor.

They determined that the approximately 220-pound rock traveled through the sky at 33,500 mph (53910.52 kph), faster than the speed of sound, causing a sonic boom. A NASA weather satellite helped the agency confirm it was brighter than Venus in the sky, making it a fireball.

Bill Cooke, of the NASA Meteoroid Environments Office in Huntsville, Alabama, says it broke into pieces 12 miles (19.3 kilometers) above the ground.

Residents from Highland, Illinois to St. Charles, MO, reported a bright flash across the sky followed by two loud booms Monday evening as a meteor lit up the night just before 9pm.

Many people caught the Fireball on film and posted videos on twitter.

The Northern Taurid Meteor shower is nearing it's peak according to the American Meteor Society, and that is likely the source of this meteor.

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