Michigan Residents Startled by Meteor Fireball that Lit up Night Sky, Shook Homes (UPDATED)
The night sky briefly lit up in Michigan on Tuesday night, with a bright flash of light and a loud noise that startled residents.
The flash and boom was “NOT thunder or lightning, but instead a likely meteor,” tweeted the National Weather Service for Detroit. It was monitoring feeds from astronomical agencies for official confirmation that it was a meteor, the NWS said.
The massive, flash of light was captured on people’s cameras attached to their homes and cars, which was then posted on social media.
Chelsea Means captured the moment on her security cameras. Although she didn’t see the light, she told CNN that she heard a “loud thunder, rumble noise.”
“It shook my house,” she said. “At first, it sounded like someone hitting my house.”
The Ingham County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management received several 911 calls and tweeted: “There is no need to call 911. All indications are that it was just a natural meteor fireball.”
It also stated that no fires had been reported as a result of the meteor.
In Allen Park, Michigan, one camera captured the bright streak going across the sky and then fading out.
After reviewing several observational datasets, the NWS can confirm the flash and boom was NOT thunder or lightning, but instead a likely meteor. We continue to monitor feeds from astronomical agencies for official confirmation of a meteor. #miwx
— NWS Detroit (@NWSDetroit) January 17, 2018
— PirateHooker (@BlackBeerded) January 17, 2018
— Brian Stager (@brianrstager) January 17, 2018
— Josh Saenz (@JoshSaenzz) January 17, 2018
— Tim (@tflyer85) January 17, 2018
Freaky bright flash in the sky…must be a meteor. To cold for lightning…both cameras picked it up. pic.twitter.com/4SpnL9s8la
— 😉 (@MelTXD) January 17, 2018
USGS has registered this event as a M2.0 earthquake with the epicenter at New Haven, just north of Detroit in Michigan.
Meteorite seen and heard in Detroit area. Location is approximate. The magnitude reported for this meteor cannot be directly used to compare its size to an earthquake because the source of the seismic signals are different.
The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received almost 400 reports of the event. The flashing light and loud boom felt across Michigan and seen as far away as New York City and parts of Canada on Tuesday night was a meteoroid entering the atmosphere, according to NASA.
A post on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page, said the meteoroid traveled northwest from the Brighton area to the Howell area, citing the American Meteor Society’s website. The 1 a.m. post read:
“Our analysis yields a similar result, and we have calculated that this was a very slow moving meteor – speed of about 28,000 miles per hour,”
“This fact, combined with the brightness of the meteor (which suggests a fairly big space rock at least a yard across), shows that the object penetrated deep into the atmosphere before it broke apart (which produced the sounds heard by many observers). It is likely that there are meteorites on the ground near this region – one of our colleagues has found a Doppler weather radar signature characteristic of meteoritic material falling to earth.”