Fireball reported over Twin Cities

Depending on the reliability of witnesses, there were one or two “fireballs” reported over Minnesota and Wisconsin at about the same time last night.

Most of the reports to the American Meteor Society suggest the fireball streaked to the northeast around 7:45. Reports came from the Twin Cities, Eau Claire, and Spooner, Wisc.

Another report, this one from Sioux Falls, reported a fireball but the AMS has not indicated if it’s the same one.

“It was a glowing trail that changed between green to light greed to light blue then to white,” the witness, identified only as Shawn, said.

“One of the more spectacular fireballs I’ve witnessed. Partly because it was so unexpected,” Matt in St. Louis Park said.

November is a big month for meteors, the AMS says, with two major fields likely to be active over the next few days:

The Andromedids (AND) are active from a radiant located at 01:24 (021) +26, which lies in northern Pisces, 10 degrees northwest of the 2nd magnitude star Hamal (Alpha Arietis). This is a famous shower that produced some brilliant displays during the 19th century. Since then the main orbit of the particles from comet 3D/Biela have moved away from the Earth. Still, remnants may be seen from October 26 through November 20 with maximum activity occurring on November 8. These meteors are best seen near 2300 (10pm) local standard time (LST) when the radiant lies highest above the horizon. Rates would most likely be less than 1 per hour no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 16 km/sec., the average Andromedid meteor would be of slow velocity.

The Northern Taurids (NTA) are active from a large radiant centered at 03:16 (049) +21. This position lies in eastern Aries just 1 degree north of the 4th magnitude star known as Botein (Delta Arietis). The radiant is best placed near midnight LST, when it lies highest above the horizon. Meteors from the Northern Taurids strike the atmosphere at 27km/sec., which would produce meteors of slow velocity. Expected rates would be near 2 per hour, no matter your location.

  • Matt Black

    We saw one last night at 7:45 as we were driving. Not the biggest one I’ve seen but it was impressive none the less. I’m hoping (but doubtful) the skies will stay clear the next few days to try and catch more.