February 7, 2017 12:22:12 pm
A meteor over Lake Michigan was reported in the early hours of Monday morning as it lit up the sky across several states in the American Midwest. The meteor sightings were primarily reported from the states of Illinois and Wisconsin, with the the National Weather Service in Milwaukee and Chicago both asking people for photos and videos of the event on Facebook.
Dashcam video from police cruisers in Wisconsin and Illinois captured the fireball streaking through the dark sky about 1:30 am. In addition to Illinois and Wisconsin, the American Meteor Society lists sightings in Indiana, Michigan and other states as well. In total, the organisation which monitors meteor showers, said it had received more than 380 reports of sightings on Monday.
Watch | Huge meteor paints sky green over Lake Michigan
“Most of these meteors will break apart as they interact with the atmosphere. There’s a lot of friction and heat which breaks apart the rock material that the meteor is composed of and usually nothing except a few small fragments ever reach the ground,” meteorologist Jeff Last at the National Weather Service in Green Bay told NBC26.
A video recorded on the roof of University of Wisconsin’s Atmospheric, Oceanic & Space Sciences Building shows the meteor moving slowly from southwest to northeast. The “green fireball” was accompanied by sound and some eyewitnesses claimed that a piece of the space rock made it all the way to the ground, according to American Meteor Society’s website.
Apart from the police dashcam footage of the meteor, several users took to social media to post videos and speak about the sighting in the sky, which were shared by local authorities as well.
— NWS Milwaukee (@NWSMKX) February 6, 2017
One of our officers caught this on their squad camera at about 1:30 AM today. The meteor lit up the sky and then came into view. pic.twitter.com/rRQazjC9Ro
— Glendale WI Police (@GlendaleWiPD) February 6, 2017
People expressed both fear and excitement over the meteor sightings with many showing their surprise.
“I woke up to the reports that there was this bright meteor going across the sky. Tons of meteors hit Earth every day, but the big ones are sort of rare, where you see it like that in the sky and have it explode like that and turn green was totally awesome,” Bob Bonadure, Milwaukee Public Museum Planetarium director told Fox6Now.com.
He further added that the meteor was no bigger than the size of a basketball.
“We were laughing about if we would ever have a post go viral and now we can say that we have,” Fox6Now.com quoted Glendale Police Department’s Joel Dhein.
According to Fox6Now.com, one witness in the Oshkosh area of Wisconsin said it shook their building. The Oshkosh Police Department confirmed they received several reports of a loud boom and one officer was reported saying he saw a streak of light just east of the city.
Jim Dexter, a police officer from Lisle, Illinois, whose dashcam video was shared by National Weather Service, told the Chicago Tribune that on regular nights he is used to seeing the occasional shooting star or lunar eclipse.
“It was too good not to share,” Dexter said. “I thought about how few people actually saw it, but then there’s the amount of people I got to share it with.”
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