A giant fireball streaked across the dark Midwest sky over the United States this past Monday, and was spotted by individuals in multiple states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and even some as far away as West Virginia. The majority of reports seem to center around Chicago and eastern Wisconsin, though thanks to a couple of dash cams and webcams, everyone gets to have their own look at the event.
The fireball was described as being bright green in color, and having shed debris into Lake Michigan, where most or all of it is no doubt lost to the depths of the lake. It is estimated the meteoroid (an ‘asteroidal fragment’) burned up a bit north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at least per the American Meteorological Society.
As with other fireballs spotted in the sky, the AMS has a map detailing locations in which reports were received. You can find that here. The event is said to have happened at about 2:25AM EST. NASA has even gotten in on the fun, releasing its own video showing the estimated orbit of the meteoroid that caused the fireball.
You can just barely see the big green fireball in the video shared by NASA above. The space agency had this to say about the event:
The reports from these individuals and the video information from dash cameras and other cameras in the region indicate that the meteor originated 62 miles above West Bend, Wisconsin and moved northeast at about 38,000 miles per hour. It disrupted about 21 miles above Lake Michigan, approximately 9 miles east of the town of Newton.
The explosive force of this disruption was recorded on an infrasound station in Manitoba, some 600 miles away – these data put the lower limit energy of the event at about 10 tons of TNT, which means we are dealing with a meteoroid – orbit indicates an asteroidal fragment – weighing at least 600 pounds and 2 feet in diameter. Doppler weather radar picked up fragments (meteorites) falling into Lake Michigan near the end point of the trajectory.
A police cruiser dash cam caught the video below:
SOURCE: AMS Meteors