The night sky was lit up over Detroit last night shortly after 8 pm and it was a sight to behold. There are multiple videos out there showing how a meteorite split the night sky and came crashing down to earth. It caused a 2.0 earthquake in its wake as well according to the United States Geological Survey. The earthquake was centered about five miles west-southwest of New Haven, Michigan, located about 40 miles northeast of Detroit. A number of residents caught the incident on their cellphones and others saw it throughout Michigan as they looked to the dark sky. It was seen as far away as Chicago and across the border in Canada. The fireball was a spectacular sight to behold. Even though there was an earthquake, they still have no confirmation of impact as of yet.
The American Meteor Society says it received hundreds of reports of a fireball Tuesday night over the state, including many in the Detroit area. Some people reported their homes shook. According to experts, the meteorite penetrated deep into our atmosphere before breaking up. People are already on edge over North Korea… this just made it worse. But authorities claim it was just a natural event. Bill Cooke with NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office tells The Detroit News it was ‘definitely a meteoroid’ and a rare sight for Michigan. I have seen a meteorite or two in my lifetime. They are memorable.
Other states that got to see the show were Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Missouri. Ingham County Emergency Management Update sent out a text message to residents reading: “Multiple sources report that a fireball meteor was seen over the county earlier this evening. While many also reported an explosion, there is no indication that anything landed on the ground or caused damage. Most likely it was the boom of the meteor breaking apart. And that there is no need to call 911.”
The head of astronomy at Cranbrook Institute of Science, Mike Narlock, said that the flash of light was seen as far away as Chicago. That’s 200 miles from where it exploded over Michigan. Narlock said, “I have heard people saw it as far Chicago, which if that’s true that tells me it happened pretty high up in the atmosphere if they’re seeing it from that distance.” They think this was a bolide meteor and that it exploded six to ten miles above the ground. A bolide, also known as a fireball, is a special type of meteor that explodes in a bright terminal flash. Usually it results in fragmentation and then you have meteorites that light up the sky.
The last time I know of this happening was over Russia in 2013. One hit and busted every window around when it exploded. People were actually hurt by that one. When these fireballs come in, they can be silent or crackle as they zip towards the earth. The chances of a meteor making it to earth intact are remote. It would have to be very big. The National Weather Service (NWS) put out a statement on the extraordinary event saying: “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.”
One of the videos came from a car traveling at the time of the meteorite flashing through the sky. The impressive dash-cam footage, recorded from a vehicle traveling on a highway near Detroit, shows a dazzlingly bright object hurtling towards the ground. There are pictures of the event all over social media. It trended. The sparkling display sent social media users into a frenzy, making “#meteor” a top 5 trending topic in the US on Twitter. Some people were terrified when it happened, others were just fascinated. On Twitter, people reacted with shock at the phenomenon. “Did Michigan just get hit with a meteor? A bomb? A UFO?” one person said.
Nope, this was a meteorite and I don’t think anyone was hurt by it. But it certainly did put on a show for a lot of people. It also shows just how on edge everyone is these days.