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Dashcam: Fireball streaks across Iowa sky, flashes

Apr 15, 2010 8:37am
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(NECN: Howard County, Iowa) - What is believed to be a part of the Gamma Virginids meteor shower drew the attention of many in the upper midwest.

On dashcam video provided by the Howard County Iowa Sheriff's Office, the fireball can be seen moving quickly across the night sky.  With the night blanketing the sky, a surprising glow begins to creep into the picture. 

Soon enough, a bright light streaks across the partly cloudy Iowa sky.  This ball of fire culminates with a bright flash and exit from the frame.  The dashcam video is looped in the video player above.

A series of lapse images of fireball was captured by the webcam at University of Wisconsin, Madison.  It was also caught on video by WISN.

According to the Web site MeteorShowesOnline.com, Gamma Virginids occurs between April 5th and 21st, reaching its peak between April 14th and 15th.  There has been no official confirmation that Gamma Virginids caused the spectacle.

The National Weather Service Forecast Office released this statement regarding the fireball on its Web site:

"Just after 10 pm CDT Wednesday evening April 14th, a fireball or very bright meteor was observed streaking across the sky.  The fireball was seen over the northern sky, moving from west to east.   Well before it reached the horizon, it broke up into smaller pieces and was lost from sight.   The fireball was seen across Northern Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Southern Wisconsin.  Several reports of a prolonged sonic boom were received from areas north of Highway 20, along with shaking of homes, trees and various other objects including wind chimes.   As of late Wednesday evening, it is unknown whether any portion of this meteorite hit the ground."

Dashcam video courtesy of Howard County Iowa Sheriff's Office.

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