18 April 2010

April 14 Fireball

Posted by John Freeland

Last Wednesday’s fireball, meteorite, or space junk, whatever it was, lit up the sky over Iowa. At the time, I was standing in front of the AmercInn in downtown Ottumwa talking to a collegue who was outside chain-smoking in anticipation of spending the night in a non-smoking hotel.

The fireball’s leading edge was red-rimmed grading to orange, then yellow. The tail was green with yellowish white “sparks” at the very end. It was beautiful, lasting around four or five seconds – much bigger and slower-moving than other meteorites I’ve seen. When I first saw it, I didn’t say anything to Keith, figuring it would be gone by the time he looked up. Then I pointed to the sky. It flew behind a gothic church steeple, then reappeared on the other side brighter than ever. Keith saw it, too.