NASA Expert Says Meteorites Likely Landed In Hamburg Township

Emilio Banks
January 18, 2018

On Tuesday night, a meteor flew over southeast MI causing the earth to shake, simulating an natural disaster, leaving many citizens in shock.

A brilliant fireball lit up the night sky over southeastern Michigan Tuesday (Jan. 16), dazzling skywatchers lucky enough to see it.

The United States Geological Survey confirmed that a meteor had fallen and reported that the blast had caused a magnitude 2.0 quake centered about 5 miles from New Haven, Michigan according to Karma Allen of ABC News. By now you've probably seen the videos, maybe even saw the bright flash in person.

This "Did You Feel It?" map from the U.S. Geological Survey shows where people felt the ground shake as the meteor flew overhead on January 16.

"The pieces that are somewhere in MI right now, they're left over from the formation of planets", Bergin said. Jim Foerch, an astronomer at the Chaffee Planetarium inside The Grand Rapids Public Museum said the blast registered as a 2.0 quake near Mt. Clemens.

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People reported seeing the fireball from across MI, and even from other states, including Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Ontario, Canada. While NASA's footage shows a far-off streak of light, amateur video captured by people and security cameras around MI give us a much better look at the meteorite as it comes crashing down to Earth. That rich influx of oxygen is what escalates things from mild streak to "airburst", a term Bergin said is more or less interchangeable with the more colloquial "fireball" (experts, including NASA, use both).

Michael Liemohn, a professor of climate and space sciences and engineering at the University of MI, referred to this meteor as a "bolide", or a meteor reaches the lower atmosphere. Bill Cooke with NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office told The Detroit News Wednesday morning it was "definitely a meteoroid" and a rare sight for MI.

"It's rare. It's a very rare rock and some will say they are more valuable than gold", said Bonadurer.

Bonadurer, director of the Planetarium at the Milwaukee Public Museum said the real deal happened Tuesday night across the Midwestern sky. This will likely spur meteorite hunters to seek out bits of the material where it may have landed near Detroit.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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