Fireball lights up sky and causes jaws to drop

“Look out!” shouted Gregory McCartney, who runs astronomy education programs at Ko Olina, as a fireball flew overhead.

He thought his group of 18 was about to be hit, but the mysterious object suddenly disappeared.

Another isle resident who saw the green fireball in the sky the night of Feb. 9 “thought the world was coming to an end.”

Joanna Spofford, walking with her 3-year-old daughter in Kalama Valley, said, “It was the scariest thing in the world.”

Astronomers said the celestial apparition could have been a new meteor, possibly from “a clump of cometary material that hadn’t dispersed enough to become an annual shower.”

One thing it was not: debris from the collision of U.S. and Russian satellites. That collision did not happen until the next day.


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