(meteorobs) VA Boom / Possible Meteor

Mike Hankey mike.hankey at gmail.com
Sat May 14 10:04:43 EDT 2011

Here two fantastic examples of bad meteor journalism, both about the same



I think a bad story started with space.com and then was syndicated /
copied / morphed into a worse story by the daily mail and possibly other
outlets. There are so many errors, especially in the dailymail story, its
sad. Also with NASA in the headline, end of the world in the first sentence
and a picture of dozens of fiery meteors (still in space) headed towards
earth..., well all I can say is wow. My guess is, the NASA scientist quoted
in the story will be hazed on monday.

Putting the errors aside, I do not think this was a meteor simply because
there are no witness reports of seeing a fireball in the sky. The sound was
reported between 7-7:30 according to:


There are only 2 ams reports for May 10th, and these came in between 9-10
PM. The reports came from AL and NC, which are relatively close, but not
really and the NC report saw it to the west.  No reports from Dirk's website
either that I saw / can remember. (dirk can you confirm?). When a meteor
produces a sonic boom there are usually dozens of visual reports to
accompany the sonic reports.

Granted it would have still been light outside, so this may have hindered
the visual reports, but it was a great night, clear / no clouds, warm,
people would have been outside. It seems unlikely to me that a meteor big
enough to create a sonic boom would go un-noticed by visual observers over
such a densely populated area.

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