Antioch boy says he saw 'giant ball of fire' streaking from sky

A rare sighting and potential find in Antioch.  

"Out of nowhere I just see a giant asteroid pass by, like a giant ball of fire," said 10-year-old Alexander Herrington.  

He shouted "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!" from his room.  

The Sunday night commotion woke mom and dad.  

"Both my husband and I jumped out of bed, ran to the window in his room and sure enough there were a couple fires in the distance there," said Alex’s mom, Christina. 

At first, they couldn’t find anything.  

But after purchasing a metal detector and searching the swampy area near their home they discovered what appeared to be a meteorite.  

"People see meteors a few times a night in any given location.  How often people see a meteorite, very, very few times.  It is not common," said Michelle Nichols, the Director of Public Observing for Chicago’s Adler Planetarium.   

She is skeptical the find is an actual meteorite. 

"If you see something fall from the sky and it's hot, it's on fire, probably not a meteorite.  

Meteorites when they hit the ground are cold," said Nichols.  


She said true meteorites have a fusion crust, that’s dark and relatively smooth.  

They are magnetic and have iron crystals on the inside.   

Believe it or not, there’s a lot of science behind it.  

"You really need to send it off to a lab and get it tested and then get the test results looked at by a meteorite specialist astronomer," Nichols said.

Alexander has not called in the experts.  But his rock collection did get an upgrade.  The fourth grader said he had quite the story to tell at school this week.

The Chicago Field Museum has a meteorite lab.  

Once a year they host an identification day when people can bring in their samples to have them tested.  

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