Meteor that streaked across Wyoming seen for 500 miles

2013-09-24T18:00:00Z 2013-10-05T00:06:19Z Meteor that streaked across Wyoming seen for 500 milesBy LAURA HANCOCK Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online
September 24, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

On Monday night, Casper resident Anne Ladd was driving on U.S. Highway 20 between Casper and Shoshoni when she caught in the corner of her eye a flash of green light, descending from the sky.

“It looked like it burned out before it hit the ground,” she said. “But it got really close to the ground.”

Ladd likely saw a fireball, a meteor brighter than the planet Venus, said Mike Hankey, a volunteer with the American Meteor Society.

About 25 people from Wyoming, Colorado, Montana and Utah reported to the society that they witnessed the 9 p.m. spectacle.

Campbell County Undersheriff Scott Matheney told the Gillette News Record on Tuesday that people called to report a loud, thunder-like noise and bright flashes of light.

Based on reports to the society, Hankey believes the fireball traveled from northwest to southeast in an area that’s east of the Big Horn Mountains and north of Casper Mountain.

“Based on the triangulation of it, you could see it about 500 miles in any given direction,” he said.

What Ladd and others witnessed was rare, Hankey said.

Although fireballs dance across the atmosphere daily, not everyone sees them, he said. But in rural places such as Wyoming, the chances of witnessing them are greater because there is little light pollution at night.

“Interestingly, in the last week we’ve had a rash of fireballs,” Hankey said. “This September, there have been more reports than in any month this year.”

Reach state reporter Laura Hancock at 307-266-0581 or at Follow her on Twitter: @laurahancock.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. Slattery1977
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    Slattery1977 - October 11, 2013 1:49 am
    I seen this first hand, was about to pull off of hwy50 onto black and yellow rd, when the sky lit up bright green all around me, it came into view of my windshiel just before it broke up. it looked like it broke up between Savagton and Wright. I have to say, it shook me up a little bit, and i love watching the meteor shower with my kids in the summer. This was much bigger then normal, there were a few smaller ones that night as well towards the Big Horns from hwy 50.
  2. Cody Coyote
    Report Abuse
    Cody Coyote - September 24, 2013 8:36 pm
    It was a Bolide meteor. No exact definition exists for what constitutes a Bolide, but you know one when you see it. Think 'Big Da_n Bright Meteor' , probably baseball to soccerball sized at a minimum , on up . Most neteors you see are the size of grains of rice or smaller. Bolides can be any color, but the greenish tint described here likely came from the incindiery destruction of nickel-iron metal in the meteoroid. They quite often leave a glowing tail that can persist for minutes. It's even possible to see them in broad daylight. There is an 8mm home movie of a Bolide passing above and behind the Tetons back in the 50's or 60's. Famous clip...should be on YouTube.

    If folks heard sonic booms and saw several flashes, it is likely that pieces of it made it all the way to ground.
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