Minnesota meteorite

Fireball seen in sky across Minnesota was meteorite


The blazing orange and yellow fireball that Minnesotans reported seeing flash through Wednesday afternoon's clear blue sky was probably a meteor.
Though sightings were reported from southwestern Minnesota to western Wisconsin around after 2 p.m., it's unlikely that there could be any definitive ruling that the object was a meteor, experts said. "There are a couple hundred tons of stuff that fall on the Earth every day," said Bob Gehrz, who heads the university's Astronomy Department. Because there are so many meteors regularly breaking into the atmosphere -- often unnoticed given that some are the size of grains of sand -- the activity is not comprehensively tracked, Gehrz said.
If the object was indeed a meteor, given how bright it appeared in the middle of the day, it probably was at least the size of a pea, Gehrz said.

Those who saw the object included a man in Chanhassen who was looking out his dentist’s window, a downtown Minneapolis law firm employee who followed the object until it was obscured by a nearby skyscraper and an oil refinery worker in Rosemount who had a hard time convincing his co-workers that he saw what he saw.

It's possible the meteor disintegrated above a field a mile or so west of Hudson, according to DJ Vail of St. Paul. After a visit to her St. Croix River-side home, she was driving back into Minnesota along Interstate 94 after 2 p.m. when she spotted the fireball , she said. As it fell closer to the ground near a highway rest stop, it suddenly flamed out. Her sighting lasted just seconds.

Comment: I found it interesting that something so small ("probably was at least the size of a pea") could be so bright in mid-day!

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