Video: Meteor fireball heads for Lake Michigan

Feb 6, 2017

Add this to the unexpected news coming out of the Great Lakes region: a huge fireball tearing across the midwest skies early Monday, headed for Lake Michigan.

Remarkable video from several sources, including a police dashboard camera, shows a blue-green fireball searing the night sky.

The fireball set off sonic booms that were loud enough to shake houses in east-central Wisconsin, National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Last told NPR.

The object likely broke up and that pieces might have ended up in Lake Michigan, though it's impossible to be certain, Last said. Such a vivid sight is relatively rare, he added.

The American Meteor Society said it has received nearly 200 reports (and counting) from states including Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois. Based on those reports, the organization said the meteor was traveling from the Southwest to Northeast, and hit Lake Michigan somewhere between Sheboygan and Manitowoc in Wisconsin.

The organization clearly wants to distance itself from UFO sightings. It cautions the public: 

  • Please, don't report sighting that lasted more than 30 seconds: the vast majority of fireballs are only visible for few seconds.
  • Please, don't report recurring events: seeing a fireball is extremely rare and often an once in a lifetime event.
  • Please, don't report slow blinking objects or lights crossing the sky going by 2 or 3: a fireball looks like a big shooting star.