JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools

pictures and stories from the water’s edge

JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools header image 2

I missed the meteor

June 3rd, 2004 · 2 Comments

I felt guilty last night for my lack of discipline. I went to bed late, later than my limits allow. But if I had stayed up another hour, I might have justified my indulgence by the experience I missed: it’s not every day we get to see a meteor:

A meteor about the size of a computer monitor lit up the Northwest sky early this morning, setting off sharp booms that stunned witnesses.

“There was some question as to whether it was a piece of space junk burning up, but it was not,” said Geoff Chester, a spokesman for the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. “People always want to know, was it something we put up there coming down again? As far as I’ve been able to figure out, it was simply a rock falling out of the sky, as they are wont to do on occasion.”

Chester said it was a type of meteor called a bolide, one which appears bright like a fireball in the sky.

Nothing unusual was detected on National Weather Service radar, and authorities also ruled out aircraft problems or military flight tests.

Toby Smith, a University of Washington astronomy lecturer who specializes in meteorites, said the skybursts were reported over a wide area around 2:40 a.m.

Witnesses along a 60-mile swath of the Puget Sound region from the Tacoma area to Whidbey Island and as far as 260 miles to the east said the sky lit up brilliantly, and many reported booms as if from one or more explosions.
[Seattle Times]

Somehow I slept through the meteor, missing the bright lights and the earthquake-like boom. Thanks to my homeschool yahoogroup for giving me the news.

Update: I checked Seablogs to see who did see the meteor:
litlnemo described Flash and Boom in the Middle of the Night and Josh thought it felt like an Earthquake.

Video shots and information about meteors at KomoTV site.

Tags: news

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jenny Ingram // Jun 4, 2004 at 12:06 am

    It woke me up, but I thought it was a car backfiring (in my half-awake state) or a prowler. I took a moment to peek out my window, to check for burglars. There have been some shed burglaries in the area lately. I thought maybe someone got a little noisy:) Not so much (thankfully!), and found out from friends tonight about the meteor! I guess it was pretty bright!

  • 2 Janelle // Jun 4, 2004 at 11:22 am

    I heard it. The sound woke me up and shook my house! I thought it was a minor earthquake at first, and it had stopped when I woke up so I just went back to sleep. I’ve seen some really amazing photos of it…check out komotv.com. =)