Huge fireball streaks over USA
At around 10:00 PM, something entered the atmosphere over the american midwest, and burned up in a spectacular fireball. It has stirred up a great deal of comment amongst the public, but if astronomers seem uninterested it is because such events are actually quite commonplace. We had a very similar fireball here in South Africa only a few months ago, and there have been several around the world since then. In fact, it is believed that a meteoroid of half a meter in diameter (significantly larger than any of the observed fireballs mentioned so far) strikes the earth at least once per year, although they are seldom noticed by the general public. If this sounds incredible, consider that most objects falling to earth will do so over the oceans and that first world citizens only cover a tiny portion of the land. In fact it is only the recent proliferation of mobile phones with onboard cameras, and ubiquitous internet access that have increased the number of reports and images which make it to the news channels. These things have always happened, but the news never reached us!