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Unconfirmed meteor seen throughout Midwest, technically qualifies as a ‘fireball’

MILWAUKEE -- FOX6 News viewers alerted us Wednesday evening, Feb. 28 -- and now people from across the Midwest have reported seeing it. An unconfirmed meteor came streaking across the sky shortly before 9 p.m.

Alison Klesman

Surrounded by the magazine she helps edit, Alison Klesman on Thursday tallied the number of people who reported seeing a bright meteor on Wednesday night.

"Technically, a fireball is anything that is brighter than Venus -- which is about a -4 on our magnitude scale, so this would technically qualify as a fireball," Klesman said.

A FOX6 News viewer sent dash cam video from southern Wisconsin.

There's also a rooftop view from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Klesman said this kind of event happens more often than some people think.

"Estimates are that we get literally tons of material from space every day," Klesman said.

But it is the big fireballs that are much more rare.

No matter the size, Klesman said there is always a reason to get excited -- and social media certainly helps amateurs connect with professional star gazers.

"You can contact astronomers online. We have an Ask Astro column where people write in and we contact other astronomers on their behalf," Klesman said.

Sightings of Wednesday's meteor came from Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and even from near the Twin Cities.

"You know, a lot of people don't realize you can see these every night. If you just go out and look, you've got a good chance seeing them and it makes them feel like they are a part of something," Klesman said.

Klesman said at last check, there were close to 100 reports of Wednesday's meteor from people around the Midwest. However, there has not been any reports of a sonic boom -- which is an indicator parts of the meteor may have reached Earth.