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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/529

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511
THE GREAT BOMBARDMENT.

This visitor created the greatest alarm and apprehension along its path, the blaze of light being accompanied by repeated explosions and detonations which sounded like the rumble and roar of cannonading. To some it appeared like the rattling of heavy teams over a rough, rocky road; others believed subterranean explosions accompanied the fall. Horses ran away, stock hurried bellowing to cover, and men, women, and children crouched in fear or fled before the fiery visitor whose roar was distinctly heard several minutes after it had disappeared. As the meteor crossed the Mississippi River the noise of the explosions increased in severity, and were distinctly heard sixty or seventy miles from its path, or a distance of one hundred and forty miles apart. The great ball of flame remained intact as it crossed five or six States, but as it passed over central Illinois loud detonations were heard and the light spread out like an exploding rocket with flashing points. This was the death and destruction of the monster, and from here it dashed on, a stream or shower of countless meteors instead of a solid body, forming over Indiana and Ohio a cluster over forty miles long and five in breadth, showing that while

PSM V54 D529 Coon butte formed by meteor impact.png
Coon Butte, on Slope of which Ten Tons of Meteoric Iron has been found, and which was supposed to have been made by a meteor.

the meteor had broken up it was still moving with great velocity. How far it traveled is not known, as it was not seen to strike. Observers in Pennsylvania saw it rushing in the direction of New York, and people in that State, where the day was cloudy, heard strange rumblings and detonations. Houses rattled, and the inhabitants along the line the meteor was supposed to have passed accredited the phenomena to an earthquake. Somewhere, perhaps in the forest region of the Adirondacks, or in the Atlantic, lies the wreck of this meteor. But one fragment was 'found. A farmer in Indiana, while watching its passage heard the thud of a falling object, and going to the spot the following morning found a small meteorite weighing two thirds of a pound.

This marvelous body was first observed in all probability in the northwestern corner of the Indian Territory, possibly sixty or seventy miles above the earth, and from here it dashed along with repeated explosions, almost parallel to the earth's surface, disappearing over New York.