Meteor’s trip across Colorado wows witnesses, grounds fire tankers
Read more: Meteor’s trip across Colorado wows witnesses, grounds fire tankers – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_20901178/fireball-then-meteor-shower-ground-tankers-fighting-springer#ixzz1z7hzU3zC
A possible meteor grounded planes fighting the Springer fire in Colorado fire near Lake George in the Pike National Forest this afternoon, according to spokespeople for the fire-fighting team.
A Pueblo air-dispatch center began receiving reports of “balls of fire or something in the air” this afternoon, and officials grounded flights to make sure no aircraft were hit, fire team spokesman Ron Roth said.
Planes were allowed to resume flights about 90 minutes later.
“We don’t have to determine what it is, just that it’s safe to fly at this point,” he said.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command based at Peterson Air Force Base in El Paso County doesn’t think whatever fell was man-made.
“We have no indication anything manmade entered that area.” said NORAD spokesman John Cornelia, adding, “We have no information as to what this might have been.”
The incident near the fire was first reported near Badger Mountain, a Badger Mountain, Colorado 11,294-foot peak in Park County along U.S. 24, about 40 miles west of Colorado Springs.
Ron Davis, who lives part-time in Lake City, said by e-mail that he was hiking on Redcloud Peak in Hinsdale County when he saw what he thought was silvery “space junk” burning across the eastern sky, traveling from north to south with a white tail. He had just turned off his iPhone and few minutes before and couldn’t snap a picture or video, he said.
“It was an amazing sight,” he said of the spectacle that last two to three seconds before it disappeared close to Earth.
Chris Peterson, a research associate at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, said today was not a “shower” but a single meteor.
“It was unusual because meteors are seldom bright enough to be noticed during the day, although they occur as often in the day as at night,” he said in an e-mail.
The museum operates meteor cameras across the state, but they are turned off during the day.
“All the information we currently have is from witness reports,” he said. He said he had received more than a dozen reports, from as far northeast as Limon.
If any meteorites were produced, they would have fallen in northeast Colorado, Peterson said.
While a meteor in a wildfire zone is unusual, meteors visible from the high plain over Colorado are common, though they are Meteors over Colorado usually best viewed at night.
Because of the fire, officials have not investigated where the meteors landed.
Almost 400 firefighters are battling the Springer fire, currently at, 1,145 acres and 23 percent contained. The fire started Sunday. The cause is under investigation.
According to the most recent update on the fire from the U.S. Forest Service, the fire is being fought by five helicopters, with two heavy air tankers and three single-engine air tankers “available as needed.”
Staff writer Peter Dettmann contributed to this story.
Read more: Meteor’s trip across Colorado wows witnesses, grounds fire tankers – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_20901178/fireball-then-meteor-shower-ground-tankers-fighting-springer#ixzz1z7iMGQyQ
Note: I have never heard of meteors grounding aircraft? Space junk doesn’t seem to be viable explanation given that NORAD didn’t detect anything. (NORAD tracks space junk.)