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Routine Fireball Got Unusually Big Audience

THE NATION | IN BRIEF / NORTHEAST

July 25, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

The meteoric fireball that streaked across the northeastern sky Monday, stunning eyewitnesses from Canada to Virginia, was likely one of the small stony space objects that routinely enter Earth's atmosphere every few weeks, scientists said.

What made this one rare, however, was that the blazing object appeared over a heavily populated region in clear view of thousands of people who flooded emergency hotlines in a half-dozen U.S. states with reports of meteors, crashing planes and UFOs.

The object, believed to be no bigger than a small suitcase, was sighted over the U.S. mid-Atlantic about 6:19 p.m. EDT over a distance of up to 500 miles.

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