Mike's Astro Photos
Jan.13 2011

More fireballs! 1-3 fireballs reported in Minnesota on 1/12/11

by , under Comets & Meteors

More fireball reports keep coming in! This time from Minnesota and what makes this extra strange is — there are some reports of multiple fireballs. As few as 1 and as many as 3 fireballs have been reported from different parts of Minnesota. The primary event appears to have happened at approximately 6:30 PM CST.  This event was also seen from Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Here are a few of the reports:

From Watkins MN, Debi writes:

“What is going on?  I saw one last night and two this morning!  Previously I’ve only seen two in my whole life.  Last night I saw it in the WSW shortly after sunset, while it was still light out.  This morning I saw two within 10 minutes in the ESE, before sunrise but while it was already light.  This morning the sky was overcast.  Last night I think it was a mix of clear and cloudy skies.”

From Richard in St Paul:

“There were two big flashes in a row, one a little below the other.  It seems to have been seen by many people. I would really like to know what it was.”

And Pip from Madrid Iowa:

“It started out very bright and was about the size of a large marble, ending roughly the size of a pea. From my angle, it actually looked like it was headed towards Ames, Iowa, but I realize that my estimate there is probably way off. It definitely appeared to be headed in a downward trajectory. (Of course, I’m not an expert at these sorts of things. It was however one of the largest, brightest, and definitely most colorful fireballs I’ve ever seen. (Ok, I’ve seen two now. This wasn’t as big as the first, but was brighter and more colorful.

I will update again as more information becomes available.


9 Comments for this entry

  • John

    Driving in Maple Grove down 81 on my way home from work on jan. 12, 2011. Saw what looked light a giant lightning flash all over the sky a little after 6 pm.

  • Mark

    We saw the fireball last night while on I-80 headed west between Omaha and Lincoln, closer to Lincoln. Totally agree about the downward trajectory (right to left, steep angle) and the colorfulness. I thought it was a small to midsized plane going down at first. Not agreeing about the marble size- looked car size to me. On fire, blinked out, then flared up, then just black smoke. Never seen anything like it.

  • Jerry Putnam

    I saw what I believe was a meteor as I was driving home (Elk River, MN)on 1/12/11 at approximately 6:15 PM. Bright white/blue light just above horizon flash seem to radiate from SW to W just above tree tops.

    Local news has said nothing about this. My daughter was home and she saw the same exact light at the same time as I was just a block or two from home at that ime. So we both saw the same thing.

    We both agreed we wer not imagining it and someone had to have seen it. Other postings here confirm we are not going crazy.

    It waas a large bright light and the color was striking against all of the snow.

  • Kelly Everding

    I saw the fireball at 6:30pm on 1/12/11 in the northwestern sky, pretty low. It sparked at the end, but I didn’t hear any sound at all. It was bright and wide. Lucky to have seen it in the break of clouds between snowstorms.

  • Dean Shinler

    I was driving on the weat whore of Mille=lacs lake at 6:30 the 12 and saw two quick flashes. Almost like a lighting flash but threr wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The crazy thing is my buddy was was talking to his girlfriend on the phone at the time it happened she said wow you shiuld seen that. she was 150miles south in mpls. Kind of freaked us out.

  • deb l

    Saw it too. We (3 of us) were driving on hwy 169 just north of Milaca, same time. We were just commenting on the clear starry sky. A bright white double flash, like that of close lightening, but no sound at all. We all said What the heck was that?! Very strange!

  • Hardy

    We live north of st. Cloud, MN and my wife and son said what they described as a big flash of blue lightning about 6:20 pm on Wednesday, January 12th. My son was told at school that there was a meteorite that hit in Mississipi. I have not been able to confirm this. Does anyone have more info?

  • Stephanie

    I thought it was interesting that several people in the Kerkhoven/Murdock area (near Willmar MN) saw the flash, but when I found out that 2 co-workers were in the Verndale area (near Fergus Falls)and also wittnessed the same flash at approx the same time I too started wondering if it could have been a meteor. According to some reports online there was a confirmed hit in the Sounthern US of a fairly large meteor??

  • Ruth

    My husband and I were just coming over the top of the big hill west of Glenwood, Minnesota at around 6:30 p.m. 1/12/11 when we saw the flash of blue light growing wider and brighter as it streaked across the sky diagonally from left to right. The meteor grew in size until it was a large ball of fire that seemed to explode.

    We were just discussing something we wondered about doing, and it seemed like a large exclamation point laying on its side with a very big dot punched into the sky at the end. Fascinating. Oh, and we decided that we should do what we were considering, which was a very good thing.

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