On the evening of October 9, 1992, a meteoroid weighing more than two tons punctured Earth’s atmosphere. Brighter than the full Moon, its descent was accompanied by sonic explosions as it broke apart and screamed across the sky in northeastern United States. The fireball was seen on a flight path for over 450 miles before a small chunk of it—the only piece ever recovered—went through the trunk of a parked car in Peekskill, New York.
The Peekskill fireball had a pronounced greenish color and was traveling northeasterly when it was seen to undergo catastrophic fragmentation at an altitude of approximately 25 miles. This event was captured on video in multiple cities as a result of video cameras trained on high school football games reflexively pointing skyward to capture the phenomena in the evening sky. See a selection of the best videos in the video gallery.
The video footage of the Peekskill meteoroid's descent provided scientists with the opportunity to calculate its orbit around the sun and its flight path to Earth—one of the first such opportunities to the scientific community. Given its shallow angle of entry into Earth’s atmosphere, the fireball stretched for 450 miles. Peekskill earned a spot on the Science Channel's list of "Top Ten” meteorites, and a handful of scientific papers appear here.
Peekskill in Science
The Peekskill Meteorite Car ("PMC"), a 1980 red Chevy Malibu, is one of the two most famous objects struck by a meteorite (the other, Ms. Ann Hodges, died in 1972.) As a result, the car has appeared on display in trade fairs and museums throughout the world, including New York City's American Museum of Natural History. A handful of select references and newspaper clippings regarding the same can be found here.