Planetarium manager discusses last night’s meteor sighting over St. Louis

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS – They keep their eyes on the night sky at the St. Louis Science Center for things that enter our atmosphere.

“We’ve got something really unique here – a Martian meteorite,” said Will Snyder, manager of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium at the St. Louis Science Center. “Which means it’s basically a piece of Mars which got chipped off from a collision at one point and made its way back down to Earth.”

On Monday evening, cameras caught what appeared to be a fireball finding its way into our atmosphere, traveling east to west across the sky.

“Last night, we had a great example of a bolide meteor and that sounds pretty technical but you might have heard it called ‘a fireball’ or some people might say ‘a shooting star.’ We’re all talking about the same thing in a lot of ways…But a Bolide (meteor), it is a really bright one, maybe it lasts a little longer. And it’s usually caused by a bigger piece of debris coming through the Earth’s atmosphere.”

There was a sonic boom that came with the sight of the soaring meteor across a St. Louis sky.

And as for asteroid prospectors hoping to find a fragment somewhere in the Show Me State? Snyder says you’re probably out of luck.

“Because when you see that bright flash, maybe you heard the boom. You think that had to be something huge up in the sky. Really, we’re talking something for pretty small. Loose meteors or shooting stars that you see are just barely a speck of dust. Little, tiny pieces of debris left in space from a comet or an asteroid passing through our atmosphere with something like we saw last night, a little bit larger to cause that big fireball. Maybe even something that would fit on the palm of my hand, so we’re still talking something pretty small.”

But there is a chance to keep your eyes open looking up in November.

“So while we are expecting a big burst coming up on November 21, you won’t see those big fireballs with it very likely, but you’ll see lots of shooting stars that we can look forward to seeing,” Snyder said.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News