MILWAUKEE -- A flaming meteor was spotted early Monday in the lower sky across the Midwest, giving a rare up-close look at the phenomenon, which was caught on video, the National Weather Service said.
The American Meteor Society received more than 185 reports about of a fireball event seen over Wisconsin on Monday, February 6th around 1:27 a.m.
It was unclear if the meteor struck Earth or burned out. It might have even dropped into Lake Michigan, where it was briefly spotted on radar near Sheboygan, Wisconsin, at about 1:30 a.m.
Officials at the Milwaukee Public Museum said it takes a big chunk of space rock to create the kind of flash viewed Monday morning.
"I woke up to the reports that there was this bright meteor going across the sky. Tons of meteors hit Earth every day, but the big ones are sort of rare, where you see it like that in the sky and have it explode like that and turn green was totally awesome," Bob Bonadure, MPM Planetarium director said.
Bonadure said the green glow tells us what the rock was likely made out of.
"Making that green color, you probably have a lot of nickel in the meteor," Bonadure said.
Bonadure estimated the meteor to have been about the size of a basketball.
"So this is a hefty rock, a heavy metal rock," Bonadure said.
The Glendale Police Department indicated one of its officers caught the flash in the sky on a squad dash camera around 1:30 a.m.
"We were laughing about if we would ever have a post go viral and now we can say that we have," Joel Dhein with the Glendale Police Department said.
Weather Service meteorologists in Chicago, Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin, said meteor showers are common in the area -- but a spectacular view like this is rare. People reported seeing it from Wisconsin to Illinois to Indiana to Minnesota.
Some in Wisconsin reported hearing a sonic boom, which is caused when a meteor enters the atmosphere, said NWS meteorologist Sarah Marquardt in Milwaukee.
One witness in the Oshkosh area says it shook their building. The Oshkosh Police Department confirmed they received several reports of a loud boom. One officer said he saw a streak of light just east of the city.
Comments on social media indicated a range of responses from fear to excitement.
On Facebook, Sherry Udit wrote that she saw it in Oswego, Illinois, adding, "Thought I was just imagining things!"
And football fan Ryan Grubbs observed, "That was Matt Ryan's star crashing back to Earth ... lol."
Below is a video caught from the roof of the Atmospheric, Oceanic & Space Sciences Building on the University of Wisconsin campus.
The green fireball was seen primarily from Illinois and Wisconsin but witnesses from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, New York, Kentucky, Minnesota and Ontario (Canada) also reported the event.
The American Meteor Society said the track plots southwest to northeast -- ending its flight on Lake Michigan somewhere between Sheboygan and Manitowoc.
Below is a video of the first estimated trajectory of the event: