‘Fireball’ spotted as it flies through Eastern Iowa sky

Many Eastern Iowans and others across the Midwest saw something streak across the sky Sunday night that made them take a second look. 

Here’s a Facebook video of what many saw. This was taken just after 8:30 p.m. during a softball banquet in Riceville. In the video you can see the bright white light of a meteor. The meteor was so bright it could been seen even during the daytime, which actually classifies it as a fireball. This means the meteor was brighter than the planet Venus.  

One Dubuque resident, Samantha Stevens had her eyes in the sky at the time and described to us what she saw. "I saw a big flash, and it was like a big green streak, and then another flash and then it like broke off into a million little pieces," said Stevens. 

Stevens was golfing with her boyfriend, Brandon Kohl at the Derby Range when she saw the flash, "I’m used to seeing that stuff at night so I was really like, what is that?"

Storm Track Seven Chief Meteorologist Mark Schnackenberg says that may have been the only reason it was so readily visible.  "On a cloudy day you just can’t see it, or it happens all different places on the globe, but it just happened to be in our backyard where we could see it," says Schnackenberg. 

Stevens wasn’t the only one to spot it, reports were pouring into the American Meteor Society. They received nearly 275 reports of a ‘fireball’ flying over the Midwest, with dozens of those reports coming from the KWWL viewing area. 

Now, some like Stevens are hoping to see it again, but closer. Stevens saying, "I’m looking on Facebook to see if anyone actually saw or found any of it, here in Dubuque because that would be really cool to see that."  But Meteorologist Schnackenberg says, "Most likely it just burnt up and there wasn’t anything left of it and if there is it would probably barely be noticeable."

The trajectory, according to the American Meteor Society became visible somewhere around the Story City area and went just over the border into Illinois. 

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