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Daylight meteor spotted streaking across central US

A fireball was seen at dusk by hundreds across ten states.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
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Eric Mack

Skywatchers from Wisconsin to Kansas saw something weird around dusk on Sunday, but it wasn't an alien spaceship or some other kind of UFO.

Instead, it was a rather ordinary space rock burning up in that extraordinary way they do when they collide with our atmosphere. The American Meteor Society (AMS) received over 240 reports of a meteor turning into a fireball.  It was seen primarily in Iowa and Illinois. Other reports came from Minnesota, Indiana, Nebraska, Missouri, Ohio and Michigan -- ten in total, including Wisconsin and Kansas.

The fireball was caught on video, like the one above from Missouri, by both alert folks on the ground and security cameras.

"The estimated 3D trajectory computed from the witness reports shows an shallow entry angle, one that could be associated with an Earth grazing fireball," wrote Vincent Perlerin for AMS. "But many witnesses reported a fragmentation -- it could mean the meteoroid actually went through the Earth atmosphere."

It appears unlikely that much of the meteor made it to the ground. Then again, the same was said of a surprise asteroid that hit the atmosphere last month. Scientists later found a chunk of the small meteorite it became on the ground in Botswana.