JAN 17, 2018 6:34 PM PST

Stunningly-Bright Meteor Lights Up Michigan's Skies

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Residents of Michigan were in for quite the surprise Tuesday night after a bright ball of green light illuminated the entire night sky. After seemingly no time at all, the ball exploded and left behind a ground-shaking sonic boom that startled thousands.

Some mistook the event for a short bout of lightning and thunder, but others knew better and flocked to social media in search of answers.

Meteors often enter the Earth's atmosphere, causing a flash of light and a loud sonic boom that resembles lightning and thunder.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Citing local reports, a meteor spanning 1-2 yards across had entered Earth’s atmosphere from space at break-neck speeds exceeding 28,000 miles per hour. The space rock quickly became unstable and broke apart after meeting incredible amounts of friction from our planet's dense atmosphere.

Related: Is the Taurid meteor shower hiding 'killer' asteroids?

Camera footage captured by local witnesses depicts the astonishing event better than words can describe:

Related: A surprise green flash lights up the sky in the U.K.

From the footage, you can discern the meteor entering the Earth’s atmosphere as a green ball of light. Shortly after, it destabilized and exploded over the night sky, producing the orange fireball visible toward the end ­– known as a bolide.

Although the sonic boom afterward was powerful enough to rattle residents’ windows, it wasn’t quite as intense as the one that took place in Chelyabinsk back in 2013. The latter was so loud that windows shattered as a result.

Experts say that while the entire meteor didn’t reach the Earth’s surface, remnants from the explosion should have scattered across Southeastern Michigan. Collectors that manage to find these pieces can take them home as souvenirs to remind themselves of the memorable event.

Source: The Washington Post

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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