Another Possible Meteor Sighting
Around 4 AM This Morning
Our office received a call from Rock County 911 dispatch, relaying two citizen and one Sheriff Deputy reports of a possible meteor sighting. The description was of a bright green or blue light, followed by a flash just after 4 AM this morning. It appeared to be north of Janesville, moving north. Our radar did not detect anything in that area. The well publicized meteor that fell on southwest Wisconsin a few weeks ago was picked up by the La Crosse National Weather Service Radar.
Dane County 911 received one call south of Madison with a similar description of the light coming from the Janesville area.
And possibly related, the Duluth National Weather Service office received a call from the Iron County Sheriff's office of a citizen reporting a bright flash then "something glowing in the woods."
It appears that the meteor was caught on a webcam from the Great Lakes Water Institute. They forwarded us a frame from 4:06am. There is a bright spot in the upper left of this image that is believed to be the meteor. It also has a reflection in the water at the lower left.
Did you see anything this morning? Please ship us a note describing what you saw and where.
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- Cody wrote in: "Seen in Northern sky. Was on I-94 between Hwy-165 and County Road E in Kenosha CO."
- Brian from Waukesha, wrote in: " I was jogging on Fox River Parkway in the City of Waukesha and saw an object in the western sky streaking north at about 4:05 am. It looked like a firework, bright blue with a fiery tail, and disappeared quickly, appearing like it fell nearby."
- Mallory Brooke, WHSV Daybreak Meteorologist, wrote in: "Good Morning, Around 4:25am I walked out to my car in Harrisonburg, VA and saw a bright green ball of light move just south of the moon in the eastern sky. I imagine this is what you're speaking of! It was like nothing I've ever seen before."
- Abe wrote in: "Between 4 and 4:05 AM I saw a blue green light in while driving in Mount Pleasant (Racine Co.). The light was to the west of me and appeared to be heading north. It almost looked like a flare to me. Looked low in the sky from where I was at the time."
- Barbara wrote in: "Yes, I saw this, I was walking a little after 4 am in Hartland, and thought a car was coming up behind me as the light was so bright, to see the metor or whatever it was in the sky with a tail of fire. It was scary but beautiful to see."
- Jim from Omro, WI wrote in: "I saw a shooting star at 4:07 this morning? I was driving east between Omro and Winneconne when a bright light appeared from above to the north side of the road. (No, I am not kidding). I thought a car had come up from behind me. When I looked to my left (north), there it was. I saw it for about 3 seconds. I thought it had to be plane crashing, (maybe it was but I did not see it hit the ground). It was so large (and I mean big and close) and bright (and fast) coming down to the north east at a 30 degrees angle. (orange, red and yellow). I hope I am not the only one to see it. It was awesome. I'll never forget it. I wanted to stop other cars along the way to see if they had witnessed this. Wow!"
- Mark from Langlade County wrote in: "As I was driving to work this morning I witnessed a fairly large bright white light that was traveling from West to East in Langlade County Wisconsin. As it traversed the sky it turned from bright white to orange and then dissipated. It also seemed to be rather low in the sky compared to the normal ‘shooting stars’ that we witness on clear summer nights. It was a little after 4:00 A.M. on 5/10/2010."
-Steven in Madison wrote in: "I was jogging along Northport Drive on the North Side of Madison at 4:00 a.m when something bright caught my eye. I looked up to see a bright green streak moving through the sky from south to north at a high rate of speed. It was absolutely silent and I lost sight of it after it went past the trees on the hill behind the Human Services Building. It did look like it was really close to the ground compared to the one’s I’ve seen in the past.
-Jim wrote in: I saw a meteor Sunday night around 11:00 PM as I was driving east on Wisconsin State Highway 33 between Fox Lake and Waupun. It was bluish white and traveling from south to north. It only lasted about 3 seconds, but prompted me to look for more.
-Steve and Erika from Gilas Lake wrote in: At 4:06 this am, we saw a bright green streak across the sky. It came from the west, and went east. We live on Gilas Lake (Marinette County). Spectacular!!!
DID I SEE A METEOROID, METEOR OR A METEORITE?
With the observance of a potential meteor the night of April 14th, it might be a good time to educate ourselves on the actual differences between a meteoroid, meteorite, and meteor.
A meteoroid is a solid piece of interplanetary debris moving through space. This piece can range in size, from millimeters all the way to a kilometer in diameter. Most meteoroids orbit around the sun, occasionally coming in contact with other bodies found along the path. When a meteoroid enters the atmosphere of the Earth, it thus becomes a meteor.
When a meteoroid enters the atmosphere, its produces a visible streak of light as the it begins to burn up. This visible light is called a meteor. Many meteors occur in the Earth's atmosphere on a yearly basis, but vaporize before reaching the surface.
If a meteor survives the Earth's atmosphere and comes in contact with the Earth's surface, it is then called a meteorite. Most meteorites are smaller than a pebble by the time of reaching the surface and cause little or no damage. There have been rare occurrences when the impact results in a crater or small fire.
Little tidbit: Why are people who study weather called meteorologists if they don't actually study meteors as defined above?
Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere and how the dynamics and phenomena found within the atmosphere create the weather conditions we see on a short term basis. Although we use the word meteor today to refer to the visible light from a meteoroid entering the atmosphere, the origin of the word actually refers to any atmospheric phenomenon that occurs. As meteorologists, we study many forms of atmospheric phenomena "meteors". For example, clouds and precipitation can be referred to as hydrometeors. Lightning is an example of a igneous meteor while thunder is an example of a electrometeor.
- Diane Pathieu, Anchor/Reporter TODAY'S TMJ4, wrote in: "I saw the fast-moving, smaller-sized meteor on my way to work this morning right around 4:04am. I was driving Northbound on I-794 near downtown Milwaukee, I followed it until I lost sight of it behind the US Bank building. It was remarkable!"
- Karen from Windsor, WI wrote in: "I saw a whitish blue object streak across the Madison sky at 4 am this morning while delivering the morning newspaper, my daughter saw the light but was in the back seat of the car and did not see the object itself."