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Space Junk or a Meteor? Fireball Lit Up Midwestern Skies

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the zip-zoomin-along dept.

Space 87

The Space Reporter has this to say about a fireball witnessed by many midwesterners on Thursday night: "The massive fireball was seen in the early morning hours in Iowa on Thursday night. At least 700 people have reported a sighting and the fireball was reported by people across the Midwest, including Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska. However, astronomers say they are still unsure whether the fireball was the result of space debris or a meteor. Officials at the National Weather Service say they are working to determine the source of the fireball, although the leading theory seems to support a meteor was the source." CCTV footage of the fireball is great, though it doesn't stack up to the world of Russian dashcams.

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87 comments

CCTV Link (5, Informative)

fred911 (83970) | about 4 months ago | (#45814491)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SdI7KnLGN8 [youtube.com]

Missing from story.

Re:CCTV Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814523)

And instead of "webcams", it should say "dashcams".

Re:CCTV Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814535)

And instead of "about a fireball witness by many", it should say "about a fireball witnessed by many".

This is seriously one of the shittiest, most poorly-written and poorly-edited submissions that I've seen here in a long time. One error is excusable, but three or more glaring errors are absolutely unacceptable.

Re:CCTV Link (2)

tomhath (637240) | about 4 months ago | (#45814559)

The original story isn't so great either:

Atmospheric friction has little effect on the velocity and the smallest ones survive the voyage to the Earth’s surface are quickly slowed by atmospheric friction to speeds of a few hundred kilometers per hour

Re:CCTV Link (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 4 months ago | (#45814607)

Wow, botched grammar *and* completely contradicting itself in one setence! We got a winner here, folks.

Professional Journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45815167)

Professional Journalism has been just about killed by the Internet.

Now, for the breaking news, it's the amateurs are getting it and as far as TV, Radio, and most News Papers, it's infotainment.

Sometimes, technological advancement isn't a good thing.

Re:CCTV Link (1)

mpe (36238) | about 4 months ago | (#45817105)

Wow, botched grammar *and* completely contradicting itself in one setence! We got a winner here, folks.

Or a sign of bad (mechanical) language translation?

Re:CCTV Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814779)

This is seriously one of the shittiest, most poorly-written and poorly-edited submissions that I've seen here in a long time.

It isn't. Quite a few submissions include extraneous or redundant text that should be deleted, because people don't seem to know how to summarize.

Re:CCTV Link (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#45815621)

I've had my submission rejected, only to see it on the site a day later, submitted by someone else who used the first paragraph verbatim as the summary. My intelligent summary (or attempt at it) was rejected. Or it was too timely. Who knows. Since nearly all accepted submissions take copy-paste, and many rejections don't, it looks like the editors prefer copy-paste.

Re:CCTV Link (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 4 months ago | (#45818355)

Or it was too timely.

This.

These days slashdot is a great place to go when you want to discuss last week's news....

Re:CCTV Link (3, Funny)

osu-neko (2604) | about 4 months ago | (#45814929)

One error is excusable, but three or more glaring errors are absolutely unacceptable.

Absolutely. You should ask for your money back.

Re:CCTV Link (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 4 months ago | (#45815791)

No -- I won't have any of that!
There was a submission, yesterday, that surely would more dutifully apply to being the most shittiest..."

Re:CCTV Link (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 4 months ago | (#45814755)

Missing from story.

Well, not exactly missing so much as our Dice overlords apparently don't know how to properly format an anchor tag. Up next, they'll be telling us of a new trend sweeping the industry called "Doing the needful"...

Re:CCTV Link (1)

romons (2767081) | about 4 months ago | (#45832731)

Looks like the start of "War of the Worlds". Anybody notice any three legged aliens in the area?

Space Junk or Meteor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814509)

It'd be nice if the CCTV link worked, too.

Why The Link Is Bad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814825)

It'd be nice if the CCTV link worked, too.

Slash Code is written in Perl, what do you expect? The NEW "beta" Slashdot is 100 percent PHP, so we know it will actually work well.

CCTV Footage - Working Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814513)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hRKnXqAxoc

National Weather Service? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814545)

I thought the US military a space object tracking system. Did any news agencies bother to ask them if they even detected something?

Re:National Weather Service? (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about 4 months ago | (#45814587)

They never "detect" anything.

Re:National Weather Service? (4, Funny)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 4 months ago | (#45814645)

IT was an UFO we shot down but we are calling it some kind of weather equipment

Re:National Weather Service? (3, Funny)

whodunit (2851793) | about 4 months ago | (#45814969)

That's the federal government for you, trigger happy assholes. You NEVER get elerium out of a shoot-down. They can't do anything right.

Re:National Weather Service? (1)

KORfan (524397) | about 4 months ago | (#45837299)

Professor Van Allen taught us to get the Skyranger in the air before making the interception for a shoot down, that way we get to the crash site before the aliens can destroy the Elerium. We get plenty of El-115. :)

Re:National Weather Service? (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 4 months ago | (#45815195)

IT was an UFO we shot down but we are calling it some kind of weather equipment

Let's not jump to conclusions, yet. We must correlate this with reports of missing persons, anal probings, and the number of cows that have been turned inside-out in the area.

Re:National Weather Service? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45816049)

We too shot down the IT, all the way to the basement, for being too alien. They would have been insulted to be called weather equipment, however.

Re:National Weather Service? (4, Funny)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 4 months ago | (#45815213)

Did any news agencies bother to ask them if they even detected something?

They did - And even released footage of the incident, including footage from a fighter jet -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNeMNXQBzd8 [youtube.com]

When a govt agency is "working" on an explanation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814611)

When it comes to anything important and noteworthy... Who really gives a fuck what stupid "explanations" come flying out of the asses of:

AARCC ABMC ACF ACYF ADA ADB ADD AFAA AFDB AFDC AFDF AFSC AGRICOLA AHCPR AmeriCorps NCCC AMS Amtrak ANA AOA APHIS ARC ARS ATF ATSDR BEA BIA BIC BJA BJS BLM BLS BTS BVA CBO CCC CDBG CDC CEA CEOS CEQ CFA CFR CFTC CIA CITES of CNO COPS CPSC CRS CSAP CSAT CSB CSE CSREES CSS DA DARPA DCAA DCMC DEA DIA DISA DLA DLSA DOC DOD DOE DOL DOT DSCA DSS DTRA EDA EEOC EO EOUSA EPA ERS Ex-Im FAA FAS FCC FDIC FEB's FEC FEMA FERC FFB FHA FHWA FIA FICO FLRA FMC FMCS FMS FNCS FNMA FNS FOIA FR FRS FSA FSIS FSS FTC FWS GAO GATT Ginnie GIPSA GNMA GPO GSA HCFA HHS HRSA HUD HUMINT IAF IBRD IDB IFC IHA's IHS ILAB ILO IMF IMLS INS INTERPOL IOM IRMC IRS ISOO ITA JAG JCS LMI MA MASINT MBDA MIGA MMS MSHA MSPB NARA NASS NCA NCPC NCRR NCUA NEA NEH NHI NHPRC NHTSA NIH NIJ NIMA NIMH NIST NLM NLRB NOAA NPS NRC NRCS NSA NSC NSF NTIA NTID NTIS NTSB OAS OCS OECD OGE OMB OPIC OPM ORR OSC OSDBU OSHA OSHRC OSM OTS OWBO PBGC PBS PHA's PHS POW/MP PRC PSC PTO PWBA RHS RICO RIT RMA ROTC RRB RSPA RTB RUS SAIF SAMHSA SBA SEC SITES SSA SSI SSS START Stat. TASC TDA TPCC TVA U.N. UNESCO UNHCR UNICEF International UNICOR USA USAF USAID U.S.C. USCG USDA USFA USGS USITC USMC USN VA VISTA VOA WHO WIC WNET WTO YCC

Tell me who really nowadays gives a fuck what we are told by these parasites?

Re:When a govt agency is "working" on an explanati (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814701)

You sound like someone who lives in a hay-bale house in rural Montana.

Which begs the question: who are you stealing wifi from?

Southern racists (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814655)

Figures it would happen over texas. All UFO activity occurs in the Southern states. There are no UFOs / alien abductions / meteors in the civilized places of New York City, or Los Angelas. I will not believe that a meteor actually fell in the skies of TX. I think it was more likely a mass delusion caused by alchohal or methanphetamines. The CCTV footage was obviously either faked or caused by a reflection of the sun off off the clouds in the upper atmosphere. Also the footage was taken by cameras in the state of Texas. Texas cameras are notoriously unreliable, and prone to biggotry.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814751)

It wasn't over Texas. Or the South.

Re:What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814885)

Was it unidentified? If yes, then it came out of TX or the south. See Northers know everything and could have identified the fuck out of it. You need to bone up on your media stereotypes. Nothing unidentified ever falls in Iowa.

Geesh some people.

Re:Southern racists (2)

penix1 (722987) | about 4 months ago | (#45814933)

There are no UFOs / alien abductions / meteors in the civilized places of New York City, or Los Angelas.

And that's because the last time they tried to land in both New York and Los Angeles they were found in an alley naked and beaten with a garden hose up their ass and their spacecraft stripped on cinder blocks. So much for "civilized places"....

Re:Southern racists (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 4 months ago | (#45815349)

There are no UFOs / alien abductions / meteors in the civilized places of New York City, or Los Angelas.

And that's because the last time they tried to land in both New York and Los Angeles they were found in an alley naked and beaten with a garden hose up their ass and their spacecraft stripped on cinder blocks. So much for "civilized places"....

These are NYC and LA police we are talking about. They're already pissed off that some dumb-ass is driving around on the streets w/o a tag or proper lighting. On top of that, they have flames shooting out of the back of the ship/car, and have a couple thousand dollars in illegal ground effects lighting blinding the hell out of other motorists. Then when they ask for a drivers license and registration these bastards not only don't provide either, they respond with some sort of clicking and beeping sounds. I don't know the specific LAPD or NYPD guidelines about finding kidnapped humans in the trunk either, but I'd say they got off with a warning.

Re:Southern racists (1)

penix1 (722987) | about 4 months ago | (#45815671)

Heh... I was just trying to explain the cab drivers in those cities... Hadn't thought of the PD.... That explains a lot. The PD is pissed because they were beaten and left naked with garden hoses up their asses in that alley...

In morse code : (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814659)

If you read the trail dots it leaves, and translate into morse code, it would be like .. .- (dot dot (space) dot stripe)

if you translate that i reads:
I ET

Re:In morse code : (1)

youn (1516637) | about 4 months ago | (#45814793)

I think you misread the morse code. Watch it again, I believe it says dot slash backwards... slash dot :p

Re:In morse code : (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814907)

Had some mod points to spare / was considering to rate it "Insightful" instead of "Funny" ;-)

I saw it. (4, Interesting)

Picass0 (147474) | about 4 months ago | (#45814725)

I was driving east on I-80 in Council Bluffs, IA. At the time I wondered if it was a meteor or something man made. It was bright white but had a green hue as it broke up.

I was also a bit grateful there was no earth shattering kaboom.

Gamera (1)

rjejr (921275) | about 4 months ago | (#45814817)

They should called a biologist as its obviously a flying turtle.

Re:Gamera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814947)

Good point. Makes me wonder why there are no studies concerning flying turtles. I mean they can conduct multi year million dollar studies to determine that people in sunnier climate are happier that people who live in climates where it is always cold, cloudy, and saturated with freezing rain. Why not study flying turtles to discover their mating habits and habitat. Is the decline in flying turtle sightings caused by an errosion of their natural habitat caused by global warming? This is something I could get behind for a good laugh. Instead these harvard edumicated liberal east coast elite are alwasy conducting bullshit studies that determine things like calories make you fat.

When is the last time you saw a flying turtle. 50-100 years ago the streets were covered with them. Where have they all gone?????

Petition congress to get the flying turtle put on the endangered species list. We can not wait for tomorrow, for tomorrow they may all be gone. Act today, this hour, this minute. The fate of a species depends upon you!

Re:Gamera (1)

mpe (36238) | about 4 months ago | (#45817115)

Good point. Makes me wonder why there are no studies concerning flying turtles. I mean they can conduct multi year million dollar studies to determine that people in sunnier climate are happier that people who live in climates where it is always cold, cloudy, and saturated with freezing rain.

If you were to add the word "change" there might be plenty of money available for such a study :)

Only the blue one's fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45818951)

There aren't any studies because only the blue turtles fly; it's perfectly natural to see the green ones fall out of the sky.

Re:I saw it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45815113)

I was also a bit grateful there was no earth shattering kaboom.

Why? That would have been fucking AWESOME!

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814859)

It was in the early evening, not morning.

Cover up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45814915)

"Space debris my ass it's another SGC cover up. Anyone noticing how it suddenly decides to veer off?"

The above is a joke, but not the stuff below.

Someone explain to me why the strange behavior of the tail before the object seemingly veers off.

Re:Cover up. (2)

grcumb (781340) | about 4 months ago | (#45815361)

Someone explain to me why the strange behavior of the tail before the object seemingly veers off.

Probably just burning up unevenly. Many celestial objects are not uniform in their composition. They are composed of different materials of varying density and some also have gas pockets - or holes, or empty spaces, anyway. I've seen one meteor changing colour as it fell, and when it broke in two, it appeared to suddenly change direction, because one of the two diverging remnants was burning much more brightly than the other.

So, unless its path described a curve, or it turned back on itself, slowed or accelerated quickly... it's probably not what you fear.

Now, if you would kindly direct your eyes to this pen I'm holding in my hand....

Re:Cover up. (1)

wooferhound (546132) | about 4 months ago | (#45819151)

Someone explain to me why the strange behavior of the tail before the object seemingly veers off.

I don't think it is veering off, it is entering a cloud bank.

I'll take the blame (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 4 months ago | (#45814951)

That was the top of my skull reentering orbit after my head exploded at the end of the Chiefs-Chargers game (eliminating the Steelers from the playoffs).

The time of the event (1)

Streetlight (1102081) | about 4 months ago | (#45815115)

The linked-to article is very confusing about the time of the event. The CCTV date-time stamp shows Dec. 26, 2013, at 17:43 hours. This is 5:43 PM on the day after Christmas.

That's because it is a fake. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45815231)

The xtians that make these type of fakes are too stupid to get their lies in order before releasing their "god is great" garbage. Typical CONservatives at work.

Re:That's because it is a fake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45821349)

Why don't you shut the fuck up you goddamned atheist bigot. Every god damned topic has to have one anti-religion troll no matter how offtopic.

Re:The time of the event (2)

cusco (717999) | about 4 months ago | (#45815739)

Security systems that actually have the correct date/time are quite possibly rarer than those that have the date/time wrong. Most often the things get installed by an overworked and undertrained electrician who doesn't have any incentive to set the time, and even if he did it's just a standard PC clock that wanders and no one ever goes back to maintain the thing until it fails.

Re:The time of the event (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 4 months ago | (#45818613)

The CCTV date-time stamp shows Dec. 26, 2013, at 17:43 hours. This is 5:43 PM on the day after Christmas.

That's the correct time.

Wrong direction to be space junk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45815419)

It is moving to the left on north facing cameras, thus traveling west. Don't most satellites go the opposite way?

Who let Sandra Bullock drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45815831)

or was it another terrorist attack foiled by the NSA , did any one actually see Will smith today?

so.... that chinese lunar probe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45816005)

didn't make it to the moon, after all.

Burned up before it hit the ground (2)

Animats (122034) | about 4 months ago | (#45816039)

It burned up before it hit the ground, so it probably wasn't anything very big or very solid. Ice or rock, probably. Yawn.

Some space junk does make it all the way down. Titanium or stainless steel pressure tanks [nasa.gov] often make it relatively intact. Less solid stuff rarely does.

Re:Burned up before it hit the ground (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 4 months ago | (#45820271)

so it probably wasn't anything very big

The footage taken in North Liberty, looks pretty much the same as what I saw myself just south of Des Moines, which in turn matches pretty closely with descriptions from people who saw it over by Council Bluffs.

If you take a look at an Iowa map, you'll find that covers most of the width of the entire state.

That would seem to indicate a sizeable object and a long distance. It was substantially bigger and brighter than the "shooting star" meteors that one can spot on a pretty regular basis.

Exactly what happened to the Dino's (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 4 months ago | (#45816129)

The dinosaurs were in a similar situation a while back.
At first, they had a few of these things falling from the sky, posting them on youtube, twittering them etc. Not really thinking much of it.

Little did they know, it was the only pre-warning to their extinction. Also destroying Youtube and Twitter in the process.

Re:Exactly what happened to the Dino's (1)

cusco (717999) | about 4 months ago | (#45819943)

Also destroying Youtube and Twitter in the process.

We can only hope.

awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45816135)

jesus is back!

Jose Chung's From Outer Space (1)

TommyTumult (1614051) | about 4 months ago | (#45818079)

"Venus was at its peak brilliance last night. You probably thought you saw something up in the sky other than Venus, but I assure you, it was Venus."

Poor Starbuck (1)

Cito (1725214) | about 4 months ago | (#45818143)

It was Starbuck that burnt up in the atmosphere, but dont worry she reappeared as an angel to the colonial fleet and will in fact jump the fleet back in time during the dawn of man which is where our species will eventually descend from one of the crewmates daughter's "Hera" aka mitochondrial Eve. :-)

East to West? Prob not space junk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45819649)

If it was space junk then it was a piece of junk in a very rare retrograde orbit (moving East to West). Footage shows the fireball clearly moving from right to left from a north facing camera. Almost all satellites and spacecraft are in prograde orbits, launched Eastward to take advantage of the earth's rotation, or in polar orbits which move in a north or south direction depending on where the earth is in the orbit's sweep.

Israel has launched five Ofeq reconnaissance satellites in retrograde orbit, and the US has launched two FIA radar satellites into an almost retrgrade orbit. There are also sun-synchronous orbits for which booster components may re-enter on a track that appears to be retrograde, but the total number of such spacecraft in comparison to the vast number of satellites, booster components and space junk in prograde orbits is miniscule.

Statistically then, this was probably not space junk, but a bolide meteor.

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