On Tuesday evening, a flash was seen over Illinois and other states which caused a bit of a panic among the inhabitants.
The National Weather Service in Detroit reported after reviewing several observational data, that the flash and the boom heard over Michigan was not thunder or lightning but a likely meteor instead.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) also confirmed that what people saw and heard was a meteor that happened at around 8 pm. USGS also revealed that the meteor exploded with enough force to register an earthquake of 2.0 magnitude close to Michigan in Saint Clair Shores.
The American Meteor Society was flooded with over 200 calls coming from people of
Michigan and Illinois. In addition to them, residents from Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana and
Pennsylvania also reported meteor sightings. The farthest account of this sighting came from Ontario, Canada.
They all reported seeing the night sky lighting up and hearing a boom and many people from Grand Rapids to Detroit area took to social media to describe their experience, some even posting videos capturing the phenomenon. While some people realized that the flash in the sky is a meteor, others tweeted that “scared the buhjesus” out of them.
This “fireball meteor” seems to be a bolide meteor according to the Michael J. Narlock, Head of Astronomy at Cranbrook Institute of Science in Michigan. He explained that this meteor is usually large and tends to blow off in the atmosphere. On very rare occasions it and looks quite similar to the meteor incident in Russia in 2013.
Residents received a text alert from Ingham County Emergency Management Update saying that calling 911 is not necessary because while an explosion was heard, there is no account of something landing on the ground.