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The peak of the best summertime meteor shower, the Perseids, will be coming to a sky near you.
Ryan Johnson was heading home to Carthage Sunday afternoon when he saw something in the sky that took his breath away.
“We were heading east near Fredonia (Kansas) when a meteor fell straight down,” Johnson recalled. “It looked like a big shooting star. It was long, but it was quick. Wow. I’ve never seen one in the daylight.”
He said the meteor left a brief smoke trail but didn’t appear to hit the ground.
“It was fast enough that me and my wife saw it, but our son, who was also sitting in the front seat didn’t. It was pretty neat!”
The meteor created a massive shock wave and thunderous boom as it streaked above southwest Missouri. The American Meteor Society received 16 reports of a fireball seen from points in southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas, southeast Kansas and northwest Arkansas, all just moments after 5 p.m. Sunday.
Some people reported seeing pieces of it breaking off. In Missouri it rattled windows in Long Lane and shook homes in Monett and Pierce City.
Catch a shooting star: The summer’s best meteor shower – the Perseids – peak tonight
The boom caused birds to fly from rooftops as far away as Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
In Joplin, Trisha Raney said she was having a birthday party for her granddaughter in her yard.
“I happened to be looking in just the right spot when I saw it,” Raney said. “I see this streak of green light going across the sky. It was gone real fast. To me, it looked like almost neon green and it was very bright.”
She was surprised that none of the 15 other people at the party caught a glimpse of the meteor.
“I’ve never seen one during daylight,” she added.
As of late Monday, there were no reports of damage from the fast-moving space object burning up in the atmosphere.
Sunday’s meteor occurred just ahead of the biggest concentration of night-sky meteors Monday and Tuesday during the annual Perseid meteor shower. The meteors are from the debris left behind by the Swift-Tuttle comet that orbits the sun every 133 years.
Every August, the Earth moves through the debris left from the comet’s tail, creating a shower of meteors.
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