Huge fireball observed in the sky Wednesday night

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A large fireball was observed crossing the night sky shortly after 10pm Thursday evening from residents in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Missouri.

10:00am Update – Click here for National Weather Service resources:

6:00am Update –  Here are some new pictures out of Wisconsin. You can see the meteor in the 1st pic, then it exploding! (UW-Madison)




At 10:04 our live doppler radar may have picked up on this in Southwestern Wisconsin. While this is speculatory, it is highly coincidental that our frame-grab occurred at the time of the meteorite sighting. Click on the image for the animation.

Non-stop reports came into law enforcement with one person saying “I thought it was a plane on fire…got a great view of it from our window…it scared me!!!” According to KWWL-TV Chief Meteorologist Mark Schnackenberg “It happened about 6 min after 10. We got a report of a muffled boom.”

Facebook entries on TV stations’ pages in Madison, Cedar Rapids, and Rockford lit up with people observing it. It was seen in Des Moines and Kansas City as well. There were loud booms heard in Northeastern Iowa, West-Central Wisconsin, and Southern Minnesota, likely because of the sonic boom as the meteorite entered the atmosphere. There is no indication of where the meteorite came down or whether it made contact with any building. The Iowa County, Wisconsin sheriff’s office has gotten this with a dashboard camera.

Here is the transcript of the National Weather Service chatroom this evening:

(10:08:10 PM) nwsdvn-05: fireball observed a little bit ago just to the north of the office
(10:10:08 PM) KCRG Justin Gehrts: phones ringing off the hook here about it
(10:13:03 PM) KWWL Mark Schnackenberg: DItto
(10:13:38 PM) WHBF Ted McInerney: same here in rock island!
(10:16:39 PM) WHBF Ted McInerney: meteorite?
(10:16:47 PM) nwsdvn-05: very bright fireball
(10:17:57 PM) KWWL Mark Schnackenberg: from the North West.
(10:21:49 PM) KGAN Mace Michaels: Yeah same here as well. One of our producers outside came in and asked me about it. Pretty bright in the Northern sky
(10:26:31 PM) nwsmkx-short: Many calls to NWS offices as far west as Des Moines and Davenport about the fireball/meteorite/space debris(???). The La Crosse office said one caller reported a “boom” as it passed through. Could possibly be a sonic boom as it entered the atmosphere. County sheriff’s deputies from as far north as Portage and Winnebago counties down through Milwaukee and Rock counties have received many reports of a fireball.
(10:31:35 PM) nwsmkx-short: it looks as though the Pleasant Hill office outside of Kansas City is also getting reports of a fireball as well. This thing was visible across a large part of the region.

We will post any additional information as we receive it here and have relayed this information to CNN and NBC. Complete coverage (and perhaps video) will begin on 13News Today at 5am.


Posted under space

This post was written by qni_it on April 14, 2010

28 Comments so far

  1. Corey April 15, 2010 4:45 PM

    I saw it from my friends patio in Columbia, MO and everyone thought I was crazy!!

  2. Christy April 15, 2010 9:10 PM

    Does anyone know what time to look for the metors tonight? We missed them last night and my children really want to see them.

    Thank you


  3. sarah&crystal April 18, 2010 12:38 PM

    We saw what looks like the same exact flash of light in Texas lastnight miles outside of Haskell. We didnt see any fireballs or any lightening at all, it just was a huge flash that looks like the picture posted above and all the lights on the highway went out.

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  5. jennifer bingham July 5, 2010 2:06 PM

    I saw these fireballs 3 nights in a ow ech one was around 10-10:30 pm here in eastern suburb of detroit. I thought it was a plane till the fire went out and you could still see the chunk flying through the air. We were puzzled by what it was but know I know so I think it is very cool that we saw it that way, especially wednesday night when we saw it we had just gotten up to a bar with a ton of friends after leaving the funeral home viewing of one of our friends, kind of fitting to have that happen that night.

  6. Terese Naber September 6, 2010 5:51 PM

    saw a bright orange ball of fire coming up from the south watched it travel through the sky until you could not see it any more is hoovered below the cloudy sky and made no noise. I was in Paddock Lake Wi. at the time and it was about 8:00 PM on Sept.5 2010

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