Mysterious Fireball Spotted In Minnesota Sky For About 3 Minutes On Monday
The unexpected 2020 headlines continue. This time with a strange sighting in the sky over Minnesota.
The sighting, a "flaming ball" in the sky (other than the sun), was spotted in the Twin Cities area on Monday night of this week. Reports from northwestern Twin Cities suburbs New Hope and Maple Grove just after 8 pm on Monday describe the sight (via BringMeTheNews) as being seen in the northern sky.
One of the witness, Aaron VanDanacker, told BringMeTheNews that he and his partner both saw what "looked like a giant asteroid or comet because it had a long, wide fiery tail, that also got shorter and shorter as the comet-looking fireball left our sight." He said it was in the sky for about 3 minutes.
One of VanDanacker's friends also saw the sight, and yet a third person managed to capture a couple photos and shared them on Twitter.
VanDanacker speculated with his partner in his discussion with BMTN whether the sight could be "a comet, a plane that had caught fire, or even a nuclear bomb".
Another person tweeted a very zoomed in image that they claim was of the same scene, as seen from Plymouth.
Both BMTN and Twin Cities website CityPages have offered the subtle question asking if this could be a UFO. It is 2020, but there are some comments on the above Twitter thread that offer a perfectly acceptable explanation that isn't quite so "out of this world".
A couple people offered commentary that it is likely a (human) aircraft. With the sun low in the sky (right around the time of sunset when the spotting occurred), any sort of exhaust from a jet would catch some color from the setting sun, and glow a more "fiery" hue.
If you look at the image on the right in the first tweet, it would make sense that what appears to be two separate lines could be exhaust from either side of a jet. If the conditions were right in the atmosphere, it is possible that the exhaust might not have created a full-on contrail, and rather a shorter visible "tail" that trailed off behind the aircraft. Also, the fact that it was visible for about 3 minutes could be justified as the amount of time it might take for the plane to either go out of sight, or get to an altitude where the exhaust would interact with the air differently.
One Twitter user even offered a specific plane it could have been based on air traffic in the area.
BMTN talked to Patrick Hogan, director of communications with the Metropolitan Airports Commission, who told them that it didn't look like a plane to him. So...maybe it isn't? New BMTN employee (and former Duluth weather guy) Sven Sundgaard offered some pretty elite insights on the subject in response to being tagged in one of the tweets on the subject.
We are in the middle of the Perseid meteor shower, so it is possible some space debris burned its way through the atmosphere to create the scene, but most of the debris is so small that it would be next to impossible to see with it being as light as it was, and it likely wouldn't create much more than a streak in the sky.
As the Twin Cities online media world continues to churn on the subject, we'll see if they come up with a solution of what it could have been. Reportedly, the Twin Cities NWS office has been contacted to see if they know what it might be.