People all the way from Iowa to Ontario witnessed a spectacular fireball from the asteroid belt and into the lake county of Southern Michigan. This happening took place on Tuesday night, the 16th of January.
A once in a lifetime-kind of spectacle
The event took place at around 8 pm EST, when a green fireball appeared to have cracked across the southern Michigan skies. Those who saw this described the spectacular fireball as brighter than the Moon, with an orange tail and with sparks. More than 77 eyewitnesses declared having heard explosive sounds signifying the meteorite broke apart.
AMS received around 657 reports
The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received hundreds of reports (657) of the fireball and it came from people as far away as Iowa or Ontario, Canada.
The meteorite traveled with a speed of 45,000 km per hour, 4 and a half times shower than Perseid. This could suggest that the rock penetrated into our atmosphere. That is what Mike Hankey from the AMS believes.
Meteorite hunters found evidence
Although drop meteorites are rare, meteorite hunters managed to find strewn field using Doppler weather data and seismic traces. Those who live in Michigan were the strewn field of 5 miles is can find black rocks. The strewn field is oriented east to southeast to west-northwest, 20 miles northwest of Ann Harbor. The black rocks contain a fusion crust, a black coating, which is formed when the heated meteorite melts by the friction from the air. This fusion crust should be of around 1 to 2 mm thick.
During the even a 2.0 magnitude seism took place as well, as recorded by the U.S Geological Survey.
What kind of meteor was it?
Experts believe so far it was an L6 chondrite, a stony meteorite type. The samples available are being studies at the Chicago Field Museum.