Was the mysterious Iowa fireball a meteor, space debris or alien spacecraft?
Residents of Iowa and other mid-west states witnessed a strange fireball over the sky, which could be a meteor, space debris or alien spacecraft in trouble.
On Thursday, December 26, at around 5:40 pm, many people reported to have seen a bright, colorful light in the sky moving either east to west or south to north. Some residents also took pictures of the bright moving object and posted on social media websites.
People in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska, South Dakota and Tennessee also reported to have seen the mysterious fireball in the sky. The American Meteor Society (AMS) says it has received over 600 reports of the mysterious fireball sightings from residents of several states, even as far away as West Virginia. With the high number of sightings reported, the event is supposed to be the fifth most reported incident in the history of the AMS online reporting system.
"If it was a meteor it was probably a pretty good sized one to be as bright as it was," said Richard Miles, the Science Center of Iowa's astronomy expert.
Miles also said that the mysterious fireball could be some space debris. Anything that goes through the earth's atmosphere from outer space travels at very high speed that causes a lot of friction and heat, which then causes the space debris to burn and glow. He said there is always a chance that parts of the meteor or space debris made its way to the earth.
"This particular one sounds like it was big enough to where there could be something left behind that impacted somewhere," said Miles. "With the video that was taken sometimes they can actually see based on the direction it was in and the angle it was moving they can actually trace where that may have impacted."
Check out the video of the mysterious fireball captured by a few security cameras in North Liberty, Iowa.