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Space Earth

Space Junk or a Meteor? Fireball Lit Up Midwestern Skies 87

Posted by timothy
from the zip-zoomin-along dept.
The Space Reporter has this to say about a fireball witnessed by many midwesterners on Thursday night: "The massive fireball was seen in the early morning hours in Iowa on Thursday night. At least 700 people have reported a sighting and the fireball was reported by people across the Midwest, including Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska. However, astronomers say they are still unsure whether the fireball was the result of space debris or a meteor. Officials at the National Weather Service say they are working to determine the source of the fireball, although the leading theory seems to support a meteor was the source." CCTV footage of the fireball is great, though it doesn't stack up to the world of Russian dashcams.
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Space Junk or a Meteor? Fireball Lit Up Midwestern Skies

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  • CCTV Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by fred911 (83970) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @07:46PM (#45814491)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SdI7KnLGN8 [youtube.com]

    Missing from story.

    • Missing from story.

      Well, not exactly missing so much as our Dice overlords apparently don't know how to properly format an anchor tag. Up next, they'll be telling us of a new trend sweeping the industry called "Doing the needful"...

    • by romons (2767081)
      Looks like the start of "War of the Worlds". Anybody notice any three legged aliens in the area?
  • Broken link (Score:4, Informative)

    by sjames (1099) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @07:51PM (#45814521) Homepage

    this video [youtube.com] works better :)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you read the trail dots it leaves, and translate into morse code, it would be like .. .- (dot dot (space) dot stripe)

    if you translate that i reads:
    I ET

    • by youn (1516637)

      I think you misread the morse code. Watch it again, I believe it says dot slash backwards... slash dot :p

  • I saw it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Picass0 (147474) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @08:24PM (#45814725) Homepage Journal

    I was driving east on I-80 in Council Bluffs, IA. At the time I wondered if it was a meteor or something man made. It was bright white but had a green hue as it broke up.

    I was also a bit grateful there was no earth shattering kaboom.

    • by rjejr (921275)
      They should called a biologist as its obviously a flying turtle.
      • They should called a biologist as its obviously a flying turtle.

        Couldn't be. Gamera [nocookie.net] gives off more of a pinkish hue than green.

      • What was it launched from?

    • Maybe it was an NSA satellite that needed to come down all of a sudden...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I was also a bit grateful there was no earth shattering kaboom.

      Why? That would have been fucking AWESOME!

  • Quit dicking around with your JavaScript, Slashdot. The site worked fine before.
  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @09:05PM (#45814951)

    That was the top of my skull reentering orbit after my head exploded at the end of the Chiefs-Chargers game (eliminating the Steelers from the playoffs).

  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Sunday December 29, 2013 @09:32PM (#45815067)
    Drunken Santa miscalculated and burned up on reentry.
  • The linked-to article is very confusing about the time of the event. The CCTV date-time stamp shows Dec. 26, 2013, at 17:43 hours. This is 5:43 PM on the day after Christmas.
    • by cusco (717999)

      Security systems that actually have the correct date/time are quite possibly rarer than those that have the date/time wrong. Most often the things get installed by an overworked and undertrained electrician who doesn't have any incentive to set the time, and even if he did it's just a standard PC clock that wanders and no one ever goes back to maintain the thing until it fails.

    • by bonehead (6382)

      The CCTV date-time stamp shows Dec. 26, 2013, at 17:43 hours. This is 5:43 PM on the day after Christmas.

      That's the correct time.

  • Let it hit Chicago!

  • I'm sure some fellow Slashdotters will respond: "No -- Bootid!"

  • by Animats (122034) on Monday December 30, 2013 @01:00AM (#45816039) Homepage

    It burned up before it hit the ground, so it probably wasn't anything very big or very solid. Ice or rock, probably. Yawn.

    Some space junk does make it all the way down. Titanium or stainless steel pressure tanks [nasa.gov] often make it relatively intact. Less solid stuff rarely does.

    • by bonehead (6382)

      so it probably wasn't anything very big

      The footage taken in North Liberty, looks pretty much the same as what I saw myself just south of Des Moines, which in turn matches pretty closely with descriptions from people who saw it over by Council Bluffs.

      If you take a look at an Iowa map, you'll find that covers most of the width of the entire state.

      That would seem to indicate a sizeable object and a long distance. It was substantially bigger and brighter than the "shooting star" meteors that one can spot on a pretty regular basis.

  • The dinosaurs were in a similar situation a while back.
    At first, they had a few of these things falling from the sky, posting them on youtube, twittering them etc. Not really thinking much of it.

    Little did they know, it was the only pre-warning to their extinction. Also destroying Youtube and Twitter in the process.

  • Where are all the dash cam videos of the event? Oh wait, that is right, it didn't happen in Russia.
  • "Venus was at its peak brilliance last night. You probably thought you saw something up in the sky other than Venus, but I assure you, it was Venus."
  • It was Starbuck that burnt up in the atmosphere, but dont worry she reappeared as an angel to the colonial fleet and will in fact jump the fleet back in time during the dawn of man which is where our species will eventually descend from one of the crewmates daughter's "Hera" aka mitochondrial Eve. :-)

  • ... another 787.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If it was space junk then it was a piece of junk in a very rare retrograde orbit (moving East to West). Footage shows the fireball clearly moving from right to left from a north facing camera. Almost all satellites and spacecraft are in prograde orbits, launched Eastward to take advantage of the earth's rotation, or in polar orbits which move in a north or south direction depending on where the earth is in the orbit's sweep.

    Israel has launched five Ofeq reconnaissance satellites in retrograde orbit, and t

  • That was methane burn-off. Somebody got a handle on a gusher.

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. -- John Muir

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