Skywatchers across the Chicago area reported a streaking fireball in the sky so intense that some thought they’d witnessed a fiery plane crash on the Southeast Side.
Reports of the fireball starting coming in about 8:25 p.m., according to a meteor and meteorite sighting blog, lunarmeteoritehunters.blogspot.com, with over 100 people from Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa reporting the light show.
Descriptions ranged from simply a blue-green fireball to a yellow fireball with a red center and a trailing blue and white tail.
John from North Chicago wrote “12sec nw green/blue very bright unknow it only lasted about 12sec but it was a sight to see truly amazing.”
But while many delighted in the display, others thought they’d witnessed something much grimmer as emergency crews responded to 126th Street and Avenue 0 on the Far Southeast Side of the city to investigate a possible plane crash.
A police helicopter was also called to help search Wolf Lake, which sits on the Illinois-Indiana border near the Hegewisch neighborhood.
Searchers found nothing, and authorities soon found that while no aircraft had been reported missing, many skywatchers were reporting a “very bright” meteor falling about 8:20 p.m. and crews stopped their search, according to Fire Media Affairs.
No one from NASA or the National Weather Service could immediately be reached for comment.