[meteorite-list] Night Sky Show Over Alaska Likely A Meteor

From: MuseumStore/NatureSource <musnat_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:42:06 2004
Message-ID: <001701c087cc$07e68580$858a70d1_at_JCD>

That is literally right over my house!!!!! What rotton timing, I was
probably inside reading a book! Arrrghhh!


>Night sky show likely a meteor
>SPECTACLE: The FAA and the troopers received calls about a greenish-white
>By Liz Ruskin
>Anchorage Daily News
>January 24, 2001
>Sandra Lemke and her daughter were driving home Monday evening, near the
>Huffman Road exit of the Seward Highway, when something bright lighted up
>the night sky.
>"It streaked across the sky, with chunks kind of breaking off and then
>burning out," she said. "It was bigger than anything I've ever seen
>It was about 75 degrees above the horizon, she said, and traveled east to
>Her teenager was awestruck.
>"Oh Mom, what was that?" she asked.
>Lemke said she thought it might be space junk falling into the Earth's
>atmosphere. She'd read that the Russian space station Mir was having
>problems. Maybe a chunk of it fell off.
>Scott Johnson, a spokesman for the Air Force Space Command in Colorado
>Springs, Colo., said it was probably a meteor. He said he hadn't been
>notified of any man-made space debris falling at that hour.
>The Lemkes weren't the only ones floored by the spectacle.
>The Federal Aviation Administration got two calls Monday night from people
>in the Glennallen area who both reported a greenish-white flash. Both
>callers said it occurred at 8:20 p.m. Lemke said her dashboard clock read
>8:27 p.m.
>No aviation accidents or overdue flights had been reported to the FAA that
>evening, according to the agency's operations center.
>The Alaska State Troopers in Glennallen took a similar report.
>Karen Engstrom and her 9-year-old daughter were walking their dog near
>Anchorage's University Lake when they saw it.
>"It lit up the sky," she said. "It was like fireworks."
>It had a beautiful tail and seemed so close it looked like it was landing
>the inlet, she said.
>Her daughter made a wish.
>Engstrom figured it was a meteor.
>"Either that or a jet engine landing in someone's bedroom," she said.
>A meteor is a streak of light across the sky, and especially bright ones
>called fireballs. They are caused by naturally occurring space debris,
>usually ranging in size from a grain of sand to a pebble. The particles
>hurtle easily through the vacuum of space and then plow into the Earth's
>thick atmosphere. The friction of the air causes them to vaporize in a
>white-hot streak.
>Because the debris hits the atmosphere traveling to 45 miles per second, an
>object the size of a grain of rice can produce a mile-long tail.
>Fireballs, because of their brightness and sudden appearance, give the
>illusion of closeness. Airline pilots have swerved for meteors that were
>actually 100 miles away, according to Sky and Telescope magazine.
>Sometimes fireball fragments fall to Earth and are recovered, as happened
>last year in British Columbia. That fireball, which exploded in the night
>sky on Jan. 18, was witness from Juneau to the Yukon.
>Whatever she saw Monday night, Lemke said, it was amazing. She wanted to
>honk her horn and ask other drivers if they saw it, too.
>"I've lived in Alaska for 22 years and it was just the most interesting
>thing I've ever seen," she said.
>Liz Ruskin can be reached at lruskin_at_adn.com or 257-4591. Reporter Doug
>O'Harra contributed to this report.
>Meteorite-list mailing list
Received on Fri 26 Jan 2001 02:13:12 PM PST

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