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Lights In the Midwest Skies


ap

From southeastern Wisconsin to as far as Des Moines, Iowa and St. Louis, people reported seeing balls of fire, possibly meteors, streaking across the sky last night.

No major meteor showers were expected in the northern hemisphere on Sunday night, said Jim Lattis, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison astronomy department's Space Place. But he said it was possible that a minor shower may have been what prompted calls to authorities.

The National Weather Service's Sullivan office said reports were called in from Iowa, northern Illinois and on up to Green Bay.

Dozens of people throughout the St. Louis region and Illinois reported small objects that looked like bright lights or something burning, with flaming tails behind some of them, said Ken Tretter, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol in St. Louis.

In Wisconsin, a Waukesha County dispatch supervisor said two callers reported a sighting around 8:15 p.m.

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department said it received calls from Oshkosh, Ripon, Appleton, Neenah, and Pulaski, among others.

A preliminary report Sunday indicated that the lights were from a meteor, said Maj. April Cunningham, a spokeswoman for North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, which watches for airborne threats to the United States and Canada.

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posted: 2/5/2007

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