Pyrotechnics Over Midwest

The AOSS Building Roof Camera system caught a flaming meteor as it burned across the Midwestern sky just after 10 pm 14 April 2010. Flying in over southern Minnesota, across Southern Wisconsin and on over Northern Illinois, the fireball was seen across several states. At one point in its flight over Western Wisconsin, it suddenly burst into a bright fireball, filling the sky with light.

meteor burst

View of the meteor burst from the AOSS Building looking directly west over Camp Randall Stadium.

The frame above is part of a short video clip (FLASH / GIF) captured by the AOSS webcam on the roof. The roof camera makes one exposure every ten seconds. An airplane can be seen headed west and then the glowing object appears. Ten seconds later, in the next frame, the meteor is caught perfectly in mid-burst, highlighting two con trails with its glow.

The GOES-11 satellite detected the meteor's trail.

A Howard County, Iowa, Sheriff recorded the meteor with his dashboard camera. After the dramatic burst the object flies on into the Eastern sky.

The NWS in LaCrosse registered what is presumed to be the trail of the meteor with their radar.

nws image of meteor trail

0.9 degree reflectivity from 1010 pm off of the NWS La Crosse radar at about 10,000 feet above ground level.

And the NWS in Davenport, Iowa, also registered what could be the trail.

The footage taken with our roof cam was broadcast on numerous television reports, including CNN and Fox News, and used by dozens of online news organizations.

Pieces of the meteor have been retrieved from southwest Wisconsin and were briefly displayed at the UW-Madison Department of Geoscience.

Last Updated:
May 3, 2010
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