Fireball seen streaking across Chattanooga sky - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Fireball seen streaking across Chattanooga sky

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Julia Nichols joins the thousands of people who either heard about or saw the fireball streak across the sky over the weekend.

"I wish I had seen it for myself."

Jack Pitkin, an astronomy instructor at The University of Tennessee Chattanooga, says whatever it was most likely burned up before it hit the ground and there is no telling when the next one is coming.

"Big ones like that one, no. They can't predict it. They just pop up. It is a very random event."

The question of "what is it" still looms since nothing has been collected.

According to the NASA Science Center in Huntsville, it was most likely a chunk of space rock about the size of a baseball.

Pitkin says, "I don't know. That is the other interesting thing about them. What the heck are they made out of?"

Pitkin says if it can enter out atmosphere it is most likely made of very hard material like nickel.

Robert Wood is one of the hundreds of people who went to social media sites like Facebook and found out he missed a rare occurrence in his own back yard.

"I though it was just neat."

The American Meteor Society has received over 1,000 hits for fireball sightings in the Southeast this year.

The AMS website had nearly 400 hits over the weekend alone, all claiming they saw something in the sky from northern Alabama to north Tennessee.

Pitkin says "I tell people at the observatory it is a rather quick transitory event. It is like a bolt of lightening."

Unless a piece a rock shows up somewhere, Pitkin says we will all just have to have to use our imagination.

Pitkin says, "Lets face it, something the size of a city block is much easier to find than something the size of a basketball."

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