Meteor streak illuminates night sky above Chicago

Washington: A meteor briefly lit up the night sky over Chicago and then landed in Lake Michigan, a media report said on Tuesday.

The meteor streaked across the sky around 1.25 a.m., and then landed in Lake Michigan, according to American Meteor Society (AMS). It said the rock likely was the size of a minivan, CBS Chicago reported.

Lisle Police Officer James Dexter spotted the meteor while on patrol, and his squad car’s dashboard camera recorded the fireball lighting up the night sky.

“It looked like the beginning and then the end of a firework that does not explode. It was just a large, green orb that suddenly appeared with a trail, and then it flashed out, and disappeared in a streak across the sky,” he said.

Unlike predictable meteor showers like the Perseids or the Taurids, the AMS said this was a spontaneous one-time event. Those kinds of meteors fall to earth virtually every day, but there is no way to know where or when to see one.

The meteor would have exploded about 10 miles above the ground, and was travelling at least 20 km per second, or about 45,000 miles per hour, according to AMS.

The meteor was spotted in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Canada. Some who saw it in Wisconsin also reported hearing a sonic boom. It also showed up on weather radars.

Because this meteor fell in the lake, it is unlikely any fragments will be recovered, AMS added.