Look up! It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a Jedi attack force!? OK, not really, but a brilliant meteor did light up the sky over Wisconsin last night, causing no shortage of oohing and aahing and leading at least one observer to say the sighting was life-changing.
Folks reported seeing it as far north as Merrill and even down near Bloomington, Illinois.
Sightings also came in from Milwaukee, Chicago and Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The meteor could be seen at 11:50 p.m.:
Just got a text from friend who is a Janesville police officer stating a hige green fireball meteor just fell out of the east sky over Janesville. #wiwx #Meteor @PTH1 — Tom Purdy (@TomPurdyWI) December 19, 2017
And cameras at the University of Wisconsin in Madison's Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences also caught the bright light descending in the eastern sky:
For perhaps more than you thought you ever would want to know about meteor showers over Wisconsin, visit the American Meteor Society's activity outlook page for the state.
According to the site, there are a number of sources of meteoric activity up there at the moment – including the Monocerotids, the Geminids, the Sigma Hydrids and others – but the Ursids are currently the "active major meteor shower" from Dec. 17-23.
On the site, observer "Joseph S," called last night's sighting, "fricken awesome!"
"Lynn V" in Fitchburg wrote, "My husband and I were sitting inside watching television, facing the outside wall which has large windows. The meteor was 'suddenly there,' evenly bright from start to finish. It appeared and disappeared within a second, ending with a brilliant (but small) explosion of light. (We compared notes and agreed on this.) We have a lightly forested yard in that direction, yet the meteor did not appear to be "behind" any trees. Rather it looked as if it had come down in our back yard! Magnificent!"
Madison's "Jennafer K" said, "It was the best moment of my life."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.