Videos of the so called fireball:

It’s funny that it says in the CNN piece, quoting “NASA”:

“Air friction heats the meteoroid so that it glows and creates a shining trail of gases and melted meteoroid particles,” it said. “People sometimes call the brightest meteors fireballs.”

Which, as I understand it, is a falsehood. There is probably heat from friction, but most of the heat is from compression owing to the supersonic speed of the object.

But that is not my area of expertise so I will leave it to others to expand on that.

More videos:

Iowa:

Close call. It could have been this:

I like the way he calls it a “landing site”

If a branch fell off a tree in your yard, would it have a “landing site”?

Comments

  1. #1 gruebait
    April 15, 2010

    I believe it was the same CNN piece that said the fireball was visible for abut 15 minutes. That left me scratching my head.

  2. #2 Morejello
    April 15, 2010

    You are correct, it is primarily ram air pressure that causes the heat although there is a minor friction component. This is the same concept that causes air compressor heads to get so hot, and the reverse of the effect that causes compressed air to chill when it is released.
    CNN are idiots.

  3. #3 Virgil Samms
    April 15, 2010

    Meteorites are actually cold. Antarctica is full of meteorites, and the tremendous chilling effect those meteorites have had on that continent is apparent.

  4. #4 Rich Wilson
    April 15, 2010

    @ Virgil Samms

    Ah, so THAT’S the solution to global warming!

  5. #5 The Science Pundit
    April 16, 2010

    What’s a fierball? :-P

    You are right about what causes the meteorite to heat up, but the idea that it’s because of air friction is actually a very common misconception. I just wrote a post on my blog debunking what I consider to be the two most common misconceptions about air friction. Hopefully it is both correct and easy for anyone to understand.

Current ye@r *