Walt Whitman Meteor Mystery Solved

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The long-standing mystery over exactly what famed poet Walt Whitman saw streaking though the sky 150 years ago has apparently been solved by a team of bookworm astronomers.

Following a trail that began with a 19th century painting and led to hundreds of newspaper reports, the researchers discovered that the "strange huge meteor-procession" mentioned in Whitman's noted collection "Leaves of Grass" indeed refers to a rare procession of earth-grazing meteors that occurred in 1860.

That date allowed the researchers to focus their study on the time period's newspapers, which surprisingly enough verified the sighting of an Earth-grazing meteor during the evening of July 20, 1860.

Breaking apart in the atmosphere, the meteor split into multiple fireballs that burned overhead in skies visible from the Great Lakes to New York State.

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