For one moment, the night sky over Michigan turned as bright as day. A meteor exploded in the atmosphere near Detroit, leaving onlookers shocked at the rare sight!
It was as if a small little sun decided to visit Detroit on the night of Jan. 16. A meteor entered Earth’s atmosphere around 8:08 PM ET, about five miles away from New Haven, Michigan (which is 36 miles north of Detroit), according to The Verge. The “shooting star” blew up in the sky, illuminating the night with an explosion that was as powerful as a 2.0 earthquake. Dash cams and security cameras in the area captured the sudden flash of light, leaving some residents spooked while others were in awe at what they saw.
“All of the sudden, the whole yard started getting brighter, kind of yellowish-orange, like a flashbulb, then got black,” Mike Tarkowski, a Milford, MI resident told The Detroit News. “It was something big and it was something up in the air.” NASA officials confirmed that its meteor camera spotted the event at Oberlin College in Ohio. Bill Cook, part of NASA’s meteoroid environment office in Alabama, estimated that the meteoroid was about one or two yards across, weight more than a metric ton and travelled about 40,000 to 50,000 miles to Earth. Unbelievable. The flashing light and loud boom was felt across Michigan and seen as far away as New York City and parts of Canada.
“[Meteoroids] over Michigan, they’re rare,” Bill said, before adding that “they happen a few times every month” elsewhere on the planet. Yet, the associated fireballs, or bolides, are “extremely rare,” according to Bob Trembley, a former outreach officer for the Warren Astronomical Society. “Anybody that saw [this Michigan meteor] is lucky.” Clearly, many people did, as social media was lit up (pun intended) by eyewitnesses. “Just saw a meteor streak across the sky just now,” someone tweeted, according to The Detroit News. “It was followed by loud booms about 3 minutes later. Bright blue and orange fire. So glad I saw it!!”
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) January 17, 2018
— Storm Center 7 (@StormCenter7) January 17, 2018
Incredible video of meteor in Detroit tonight. pic.twitter.com/YoY72bWFpV
— Ryan Field (@RyanFieldABC) January 17, 2018
NASA officials will track the meteoroid’s orbit and learn if any meteorites landed or if the pieces burned up in the atmosphere. The fragments typically leave an oval pattern on the ground that scientists and amateur astrologists go far-out for. “I’m pretty sure there are going to be hunters out there looking for it,” Bob Trembley said. Here’s hoping that this isn’t the start of a bad science fiction flick. After all, a rock falling from the sky is how The Blob, Night Of The Creeps, and a half-million other midnight movies start.
Did you see the meteoroid, HollywoodLifers?