Update on the Wisconsin Fireball (and meteorites)

A brilliant and well observed fireball was observed flying over the American Midwest Wednesday evening. The map below shows that sightings were made from Kansas in the south to Minnesota in the north and from Indiana in the east to South Dakota in the north. The yellow stars denote a sighting while the red stars denote reports of sonic booms (a tell tale sign that meteorites may have survived to hit the ground).

Map of fireball and sonic boom reports for the April 15 Wisconsin fireball. All reports were submitted to the Amercian Meteor Society and this blog. Yellow stars denote sightings and red stars denote sonic boom reports. Credit: Carl Hergenrother

Zooming in on the area where most of the sonic booms were heard brings us to southwestern Wisconsin. We now know that meteorites were found in this area. Not only did the sonic booms  and the large number of videos point meteorite hunters to this area but as many as 3 NWS Doppler radars picked up the meteorites as they were falling through the atmosphere. The blue square pinpoints were the radars place the most likely area of meteorite falls.

Zoomed in map of fireball and sonic boom reports for the April 15 Wisconsin fireball. All reports were submitted to the Amercian Meteor Society and this blog. Yellow stars denote sightings, red stars denote sonic boom reports and the blue square denotes most likely point of meteorite landings. Credit: Carl Hergenrother

All of these observations have allowed researchers to quickly find meteorites from this fireball. Meteorite related stories can be found here and here.

Finally a YouTube video of the fall…

About Carl Hergenrother
I am a professional astronomer specializing in the study of comets, asteroids and meteors. This blog will focus on my professional and amateur work in this field

4 Responses to Update on the Wisconsin Fireball (and meteorites)

  1. Elaine says:

    On July 29, between 11:00pm and 12:00 midnight I saw what seemed to be a bright greenish ball falling from the sky at a rapid pace in the southern sky , my location is Geneva ny . I just wondered if anyone else saw this.

  2. Phillip Lueker says:

    I just saw a “fireball” (orange flame) extinguish quickly in the sky in South Denver at 9:59pm MT – looked like it was headed down from the sky northbound. It seemed low in the sky, but it was so brief and I just walked outside for a smoke break that I simply can’t say for sure…It was really surprising and pretty cool to have seen.

  3. Joseph says:

    Phillip. I also saw that meteor. I think that I pegged the time at 9:55 PM Mountain Time 9-06-2010. The meteor appeared to be about 35 to 40 degrees in the eastern sky, traveling northbound. I’m in NW Denver and saw the meteor through the window. It was definitely an “Oh my God” moment of seeing something pretty special. It was very bright ! In my head, I was going through a checklist of what I was sure it wasn’t – fireworks, tracer projectile, aircraft….

    I hadn’t seen a meteor this bright, this low, or with this trajectory, or this amazing before so my adrenaline was way up there. It happened so fast- maybe one full second of view from my position. I looked around online for other sightings the following day but didn’t come up with anything. Then, I started questioning what I saw. After the recent “near miss” comet, which got surprisingly little news coverage, I thought I’d look again. I’m glad someone else here in Denver saw what I saw. I have a great view of air traffic over the city from my bedroom window and I see everything from the Flight For Life, news and cop choppers, small planes and bunches of westbound DIA air traffic every night. After years of playing the night sky “slot machine”, seeing the meteor was like hitting the jackpot.

  4. Hey am asking of anyone else have could have a piece of this meter i am a friend who loves meters im im working on a project in school about this event i would like to efford a piece of this fragment

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