NASA, USGS confirm Michigan meteorite strike

By Brooks Hays

Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Both NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey have confirmed that a meteorite entered Earth's atmosphere above southeastern Michigan on Tuesday night.

The meteorite created a fiery streak seen as far away as New York City, as well as a loud boom heard by many in the Detroit area.


Eyewitness accounts suggest the meteor moved northwest across the suburbs of Detroit. The event was captured by dash and security cams.

"We have calculated that this was a very slow moving meteor -- speed of about 28,000 miles per hour," NASA Meteor Watch wrote on Facebook. "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)."

According to NASA, Doppler radar picked up signatures they believe were caused by meteorite fragments falling to the ground.

"It is likely that there are meteorites on the ground near this region," the agency wrote.

The brightness of Tuesday night's fireball has been characterized as falling somewhere between the brightness of a full moon and the sun.


The meteorite was bright enough to be captured by NASA cameras situated 120 miles way at Oberlin College in Ohio.

USGS classified the fireball's atmospheric impact as a Magnitude 2.0.

"The magnitude reported for this meteor cannot be directly used to compare its size to an earthquake because the source of the seismic signals are different," USGS wrote online.

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