Author Topic: Nebraska Fireball  (Read 2943 times)

Offline TwoCrows

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Nebraska Fireball
« on: December 18, 2009, 07:37:36 AM »
This is a couple of days old and a lot of you have probably heard about it but in light of the recent meteor in Utah, I thought it was rather interesting:

From http://spaceweather.com/

"Last night, Dec. 16th at 9 p.m. CST, a very bright meteor lit up the completely overcast sky like lightning in southeast Nebraska," reports Trooper Jerry Chab of the Nebraska State Patrol. "It flashed for approximately 2 seconds and was followed by sonic booms and ground shaking, which prompted many calls by the public to law enforcement in a three county wide area." Meanwhile, the USGS says there was a magnitude 3.5 earthquake near Auburn, Nebraska, at 8:53 pm, about the same time and place as the fireball.



"If the earthquake is confirmed, as it appears to be, I think we have the most cosmic of coincidences: A large fireball around the same time of an earthquake," says Chab. "I am simply amazed!"

One possible interpretation of these events is that a small asteroid hit Earth's atmosphere and caused the ground to shake when it exploded in mid-air. However, the timing might not be right. The quake seems to have preceded the fireball. Several readers have pointed out studies that associate lightning-like phenomena with earthquakes. So, the earthquake might be responsible for both the shaking and the light show. Or it might be a big coincidence just as Chab suggests.

More reports could help sort out the possibilities. Readers in Nebraska with photos or eyewitness accounts are encouraged to submit their observations.

http://omaha.com/article/20091217/NEWS01/712179819

The earthquake appears to have caused little damage, officials said.

The epicenter of the magnitude 3.5 quake was about two miles northwest of Auburn and about 51 miles southeast of Lincoln, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It occurred at about 8:53 p.m.
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Cell phone service to the area was interrupted, either by the quake or the increased number of calls that followed it, one witness told The World-Herald, and the walls of some homes and businesses showed small cracks.

Marcia Goering, 63, lives with her husband on an acreage north of town.

“I was sitting in one room watching TV, and my husband was in another room,” she said. “All of a sudden, there was this really big noise and this jolt that just shook you back and forth really quick. It almost sounded like ... an explosion. That's what it felt like.”

The couple found no visible damage to their house, only to a small rocking horse figurine that fell from a shelf.

Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains experiences infrequent earthquakes, according to the USGS. Earthquakes occur on faults within bedrock, usually miles deep. This one began about 3.1 miles below the surface.

Quakes east of the Rockies are typically felt over much broader regions than similar quakes on the West Coast, according to the USGS.

The largest recorded earthquake in the state's history occurred March 28, 1964, when a magnitude 5.1 quake struck near Merriman, in Cherry County.

A lesser quake, one of similar magnitude to Wednesday's, took place about 20 miles northeast of Auburn, in Fremont County, Iowa, in July 2004.

Wednesday's quake could be felt as far away as northwest Missouri and southwest Iowa and throughout much of southeast Nebraska.

According to the USGS, the first significant earthquake recorded in Nebraska was on April 24, 1867. Since then, at least seven earthquakes have originated in the state and several quakes in neighboring states have been felt in Nebraska.

Offline skinwalker

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Re: Nebraska Fireball
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2009, 07:13:38 PM »
any video or photos?

Offline TwoCrows

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Re: Nebraska Fireball
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2009, 09:03:09 PM »
There are a few news stories about the incident but I've yet to find any video footage.  Guess no one in Nebraska had a camera handy?