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Fear of apocalypse as meteor burns brighter than the moon while entering the Earth’s atmosphere

By Mirror | February 20th 2015

Pittsburgh, USA:  The moment in which an observatory in Pittsburgh, USA, captured a meteor streaking across the night sky at 45,000mph early on Tuesday morning.

The hunk of space rock burned so brightly as it slammed into Earth's atmosphere that it appeared brighter than a full moon.

Nearly 100 witnesses reported seeing the fireball passing overhead and several mentioned they also heard a boom after it passed.

The rock measured about 30 centimetres in diameter and weighed roughly 230kg.

It was captured by three NASA meteor cameras with the one stationed at Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh, western Pennsylvania, giving the clearest image.

It was detected at an altitude of 60 miles and, according to NASA, was heading due-east when they lost track of it at 13 miles above the town of Kittanning.

The space agency says the fireball was bright enough to be seen in New York, 343 miles away.

Fireball is the name given to particularly bright meteors that burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.

Watch the video above to see the fireball for yourself, as well as its trajectory through the solar system.

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