Fireball lights up the morning sky
CLACKAMAS, Ore. - There was a strange sight overhead Wednesday morning - something that looked like a fiery object falling from the sky.
Did you see it?
KATU Photojournalist Mike Warner did while flying in Jet Ranger 2 and he shot this video. He said he and the helicopter pilot were over Interstate 205 at the Clackamas Town Center around 6:30 a.m. and spotted the odd sight while looking east.
What was it?
According to U.S. Strategic Command, no man-made objects reentered the atmosphere in our area on Wednesday, which excluded the possibility that some space junk fell to earth.
Jim Todd, Planetarium Manager at OMSI, is pretty confident that it was a fireball caused by a meteorite. And he's quite certain it didn't come from Comet ISON, which is making its way toward the sun on a path and proximity that has some experts believing it might end up as one of the more spectacular comets in a long time.
"My assessment and early indication is that this is an event of what we call an exploding fireball," Todd said. "It's got the characteristics of a long tail, but not a tail, a smoke plume. And then the explosion itself."
Experts from the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory at Portland State University say it could have been a contrail that looked like a fireball because of a trick of light.
If you happened to see it Wednesday morning and took got a photo or shot some video, send it our way! We've already received a number of images and would love to share more.
For more on the topic:
- Portland State University's Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory
- American Meteor Society
- International Meteor Organization