Earthquake-causing meteor leaves southeast MI residents awestruck

Jan 18, 2018, 04:17
Earthquake-causing meteor leaves southeast MI residents awestruck

The meteor's explosive path across the night sky around 8 p.m Tuesday caused a 2.0 magnitude tremor, according to the USGS, with reports of the flash coming from Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

The meteor lit up the southeast MI skies and caused a magnitude 2.0 natural disaster 40 miles from Detroit, according to the NWS. Most often, bright-burning meteors either break up over sparsely populated areas, are masked by the sun or fall late at night when most people are asleep. Geological Survey confirmed that a meteor exploded about five miles southwest of New Haven, Michigan, lighting up the skies and causing a 2.0 magnitude quake.

However, the measurement doesn't exactly indicate the energy that the meteor released.

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Bill Cooke, an official with NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, told The Detroit News that the phenomenon was "definitely a meteoroid".

The night sky quickly lit up in MI on Tuesday night, with a brilliant flash of light and a boisterous commotion that startled occupants. But "most people don't see meteors this bright", he noted.

Hundreds of people reported seeing a fireball in the night sky Tuesday, and a local astronomer is calling it a bolide, a meteor that explodes in the earth's atmosphere. Narlock tells Metro Times the meteor likely exploded very high in the sky, which is why people as far away as IL are reporting hearing and seeing it.

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"This was a very slow moving meteor", Vincent Perlerin of the AMS wrote on their website, saying that it was likely travelling at a speed of around 45,000 kilometres per hour (or about 28,000 miles per hour).

"While many also reported an explosion, there is no indication that anything landed on the ground or cased damage".

NASA officials confirmed to The Detroit Newsthat its meteor camera caught the event at 8:08pm at Oberlin College in OH (see below).

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Residents across the city started reporting about the bright flash and boom to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Detroit.