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Wisconsin Fireball Omits Light and Sonic Boom

A Wisconsin Fireball omits light and sonic boom in the darkness of April 14, 2010 at approximately 10:00 p.m. The meteor, captured via a police dashboard recording, has shaken up residents in 5 states beneath its path. The meteor travelled east at an altitude of 6,000 to 12,000 feet and was seen by thousands. Many reports maintain that the night's "dark turned to daylight" and that the resulting sonic boom was loud enough to rattle homes, shake furniture, and stir doomsday predictions. The National Weather Service maintains that "along with the shaking of homes, trees, and various other objects, including wind chimes" no serious damage resulted. It is unknown if the meteor disintegrated in the Earth's atmosphere or if landed in fragments on the ground.

Doomsday predictors are reaching for provisions though scientists maintain that there's no need for worry. University of Wisconsin Space Place Director James Lattis reported to the Wisconsin State Journal that "shooting stars" are "relatively small, like the size of a golf ball...[they] will light up the sky when it comes through [the Earth's atmosphere]" and then "tend to disintegrate completely while they're still many miles above the Earth." The International Meteor Organization states that only 1 in 1,200 meteors are big enough to be categorized as a fireball.

Emergency response centers within the 5 Midwest states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, and Iowa, reported a flood of callers reporting the Meteor sighting, identified by astronomers as the Gamma Virginids meteor with initial sightings beginning on April 4, 2010 and expected to conclude by April 21, 2010.

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