It came from outer space - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

It came from outer space

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- It is something rarely seen let alone captured on tape. A surveillance camera in Cedar Rapids captured the glowing fireball lightening up the night sky. Howard County Sheriff's Deputy Tim Beckman also captured the meteor on his dashboard camera.

"I didn't know what it was at first but lightening was what first crossed my mind cause it did rain earlier that night but when it kept going it was about five seconds long and realized this isn't lightening then the fireball appeared," said Beckman.

The deputy also says he was only able to record the object near Elma because of the equipment the sheriff's department uses.

"As soon as it exploded at the end I hit the record button which records 30 seconds prior to me hitting the record button," said Beckman.

Siobahn Morgan, a Professor of Astronomy at UNI says the fireball was much larger than a shooting star.

"This would have been a larger object don't know the possible sizes because it's difficult to tell the glow from these things is much larger than the actual object itself," said Morgan.

This meteor could have ranged in size from a basketball to a small car. As for where the meteor landed, that is still a mystery and may continue to be one for some time.

"For the most part the odds of finding any of those pieces would be fairly low, but it isn't impossible there have been cases where people have found the objects from an observation and come across it and pick it up but that is rare," said Morgan.

Last night's meteor had a green glow which Morgan says is common. It usually is caused by the metals it is made up breaking down in out atmosphere.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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