The burning meteor in the sky above St. Louis late Monday was a piece of basketball-sized rock that erupted into an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, the report said.
NASA experts used hundreds of eyewitness accounts of the celestial spectacle, along with two videos, to determine that the 220-kilogram meteor was traveling at 33,500 kilometers per hour – faster than the speed of sound – and created a Sonic Boom, St. Louis Post-Dispatcher. reported
The space agency's satellite has helped confirm that the meteor – aka "Event: 20191112-025148" – is brighter than Venus.
It is possible that some meteor fragments could hit the ground, turning them into meteorites, argues Bill Cook of the NASA Office of Meteoroid Environments in Huntsville, Alabama.
"The movies don't like it," said Cook, who helps NASA missions avoid meteoric risk. "Meteorites are not igneous rocks from the crash. By the time the meteorite hits the earth, it is completely cold. "
Meteors also don't usually make craters like in movies – and they are perfectly safe to collect, he added.
"This is not Superman and the meteorites are not kryptonite," he said, adding that they look a bit like coal because the exterior melts into a black outer layer called fusion crust.
Only about 20 confirmed meteorites have been found in Missouri since 1839, according to the website maintained by Randy Korotev, a researcher who recently retired from Washington University.