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US Geological Survey confirms it was indeed a meteor that flew across SE Michigan Tuesday night

Jan 17, 2018

A meteoroid flew over I-75 Northbound in metro Detroit Tuesday night.
Credit Mike Austin / YouTube

The United States Geological Survey confirmed Wednesday that a bright flash of light and explosive sound heard at approximately 8:08 p.m. Tuesday was a meteoroid that caused a magnitude 2.0 earthquake. According to the USGS, the meteor entered the atmosphere roughly five miles from New Haven.

NASA reports that no confirmed pieces of the meteor have yet been located.  In a Facebook post late Tuesday night, NASA Meteor Watch reported the meteor was relatively slow moving, with a speed of roughly 28,000 miles per hour.

Its speed and brightness point to another key fact about the event.

“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),” the post reads.

For Michigan, such an event is rare, Bill Cooke, with NASA’s meteoroid environment office based in Alabama, told The Detroit News.

While they might happen a few times per month in other places, he says: “over Michigan, they’re rare.” 

Michiganders across social media reacted quickly: