A meteorite that lit up the night sky over the upper Midwest as it plummeted into southeastern Wisconsin on April 14 now has a name: Mifflin, for rural Mifflin Township where it fell.

Tens of thousands of eyewitnesses in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois saw the meteor as it streaked down to Earth shortly after 10 p.m., setting hundreds of professional and amateur meteorite hunters scrambling over farm fields for several weeks afterward in search of pieces of the alien rock.

Terry Boudreaux, a private Lake Forest meteorite hunter and collector, located some of the first recovered pieces of the meteorite found by farmers in the township. He donated four specimens to the Field Museum from pieces of the meteorite he subsequently obtained. The museum also has two specimens on loan from meteorite hunter Michael Farmer, all now on display.

One of the Field specimens was analyzed by the museum's meteorite curator, Philipp Heck, and by Andrew Davis at the University of Chicago and Noriko Kita at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Heck said they found it is a common L5 chondrite meteorite, a fragment of an asteroid shattered in a collision 470 million years ago in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, orbiting the sun until it came to Earth.