FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A fireball streaking across the night sky near Kansas City, Missouri spotted hundreds of miles away in Northwest Arkansas.
Residents of Northwest Arkansas self-reported seeing a fireball in the northern evening sky Thursday evening.
According to AMSMETEORS.org, 20 reports about a fireball seen over Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, and Oklahoma on Thursday, October 17th, 2019 around 8:21 p.m. CT.
Steve Arnold of Eureka Springs is a professional meteorite hunter who hosted ‘Meteorite Men‘ a TV series for 3 seasons on Science and Discovery channel. Arnold has been fireball chasing for 27 years. He travels, often on very short notice, to chase fireballs all over the country.
“Right now it looks like the meteor may have landed in the Kansas City area if anything survived,” Arnold said. “It is not uncommon for the larger ones, for them to be seen 300, 400 miles away.”
Arnold said he was not sure about the size of the meteor.
“Meteors come in from any direction,” Arnold said. “They come from the asteroid belt, they can be a piece of the moon or Mars that has been blasted off. They can be comets, they can also be space junk.”
The meteor that entered the Earth’s atmosphere Thursday was the 5,019 fireball that has been cataloged by the American Meteor Society from people self-reporting on its website this year.
“The oxygen burning in the atmosphere around the rock. Or if it breaks up into multiple rocks. It is really hard to tell [the size] – once we get a little more data on how big it was – there are some calculations that can be done by the amount of kiloton of energy that was displaced when it came in,” Arnold said. “Right now it’s the initial stage. People saw it.”
This is the 4th fireball reported being seen in the Northwest Arkansas area in the last year according to Arnold.
Arnold said he is going to keep an eye on the local Kansas City area to see if anything survived from the fireball.