Fireball likely over Nevada sky Wednesday night, planetarium director says
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -DEC. 1 UPDATE: It appears that a fireball went over western and central Nevada on Wednesday night, according to Paul McFarlane, director of the Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center at the University of Nevada, Reno.
McFarlane noted reports of the object going through the sky on social media and on a meteorite spotting website.
People saw it in California from Fresno to San Francisco going east into Nevada, according to the website. KOLO 8 News Now’s Facebook page had reports of people hearing an explosion from Stagecoach to Winnemucca.
McFarlane called it a bolide, which is a meteor that explodes in the atmosphere.
“It sounds reasonable as we’re in the midst of the Geminid Meteor Shower currently, and this is touted as a very reliable meteor shower, McFarlane said in an email.
The Geminids are expected to peak around Dec. 14 and Dec. 15, offering a better example of the meteor shower, he said.
ORIGINAL STORY: Several people have contacted the KOLO 8 News Now newsroom Wednesday night to report seeing a glowing object fall out of the sky around 8:04 p.m., possibly a meteorite.
There were no other reports from other news sites on the internet, on Twitter or from scientists. The National Weather Service office in Reno had no reports of unusual activity in the sky.
Shannon Chidester was in Hawthorne when the light came out of the north and went to the east.
“It was red, orange, blue. It had a little green in it,” Chidester said. “Wherever it went, it hit the ground. We could almost see it all the way down to the ground.”
It was the second meteorite Chidester had seen and regretted not being able to get a camera out in time.
“This was way too big for a falling star,” Chidester said.
Benton Hills, 9, was riding in the car with his mother when he saw it going south of Rattlesnake Mountain over the Virginia Range. Initially, he was frightened.
It was red and orange with a long tail, then disappeared, then reappeared and was more green, he said.
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