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Flash in the sky

by Dave Salesky

Posted on February 19, 2008 at 10:11 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:47 PM

Wow, what morning. The phones here in the KGW Newsroom started lighting up around 5:30 this morning. Reports came in from viewers about a bright green flash streaking across the sky.
We had calls from Cannon Beach on the coast to La Grande in Eastern Oregon. All reporting the fast moving fireball.


The FAA confirmed the reports as a meteor, shortly after the calls started coming in. Experts with OMSI and Dick Pugh a retired high school science teacher say the meteor was about the size of a basketball to be seen over such a wide area.

Most meteors are actually metal and not rock. A typical meteor is composed of 91% iron about 7% nickel and the rest cobalt.When a meteor enters the atmosphere it heats up to a bout 3000 degrees. Usually a meteor break up when it hits the lower denser atmosphere, about 5 to 7miles above the earths surface. Oh, one more thing the difference between a meteor and meteorite. A meteorite is simply a meteor that survives entry into earths atmosphere and hits the earth. One of the best examples of that, the Willamette Meteorite Found in West Linn, back in 1902. That 15 ton chunk of iron now sits on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

If you want to learn more about meteors I've added a link at the bottom of the page.