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A large meteor reportedly was sighted last night by a KLM airlines pilot near the time and place predicted by astronomers hours earlier. It was the first time astronomers have ever identified an Earth-bound space rock and predicted its arrival. (See previous post.)

Here's the report, from an online rumor network for professional pilots:

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"The following potentially confirming report comes from Jacob Kuiper, General Aviation meteorologist at the National Weather Service in the Netherlands: "Half an hour before the predicted impact of asteroid 2008 TC3, I informed an official of Air-France-KLM at Amsterdam airport about the possibility that crews of their airliners in the vicinity of impact would have a chance to see a fireball. And it was a success! I have received confirmation that a KLM airliner, roughly 750 nautical miles southwest of the predicted atmospheric impact position, has observed a short flash just before the expected impact time 0246 UTC. Because of the distance it was not a very large phenomenon, but still a confirmation that some bright meteor has been seen in the predicted direction."

Another pilot reported the following:

"Yes, I saw it from over central Europe - a bigger brighter trail than the usual shooting star, terminated by an explosion. All over in about a second, but definitely an unusual event."
Here's more from Spaceweather.com And here's a time-exposure image of the asteroid taken yesterday just hours before it reached Earth.

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