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Michigan Fireball Meteor Registers As Quake: 5 Things To Know


MI — The spectacular fireball meteor that streaked across Michigan's night sky and caused a loud boom on Tuesday night registered as a Magnitude 2.0 earthquake, shaking homes, cars and businesses, officials said. People from across the midwest reported ...


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NEW HAVEN, MI — The spectacular fireball meteor that streaked across Michigan's night sky and caused a loud boom on Tuesday night registered as a Magnitude 2.0 earthquake, shaking homes, cars and businesses, officials saidPeople from across the midwest reported seeing the fireballThe American Meteor Society received more that 350 reports spanning several states about the meteor, mostly from Michigan but also in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Ontario, CanadaThe National Weather Service in Detroit in a tweet late Tuesday confirmed what many people suspected: The unidentified exploding object was, in fact, a meteorIt had an epicenter of New Haven, Michigan Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office said in a statement that their NASA meteor camera at Oberlin College in Ohio recorded the fireball on video, even through heavy cloudsCooke said the meteor could be a "superbolide," meaning a meteor with a brightness between that of the moon and the sunNASA estimated the meteor was a yard or two in diameter and traveled at about 28,000 mphDavid Gerdes, a faculty member with the University of Michigan's astronomy department, tells Patch the event was pretty rareHe was inside at the time of the fireball, but says he's watched multiple videos online and estimated the meteor was likely 1 meter in diameter"A good size rock," he says"Not as big as a car, but bigger than a grapefruit." There are about 1000 visible meteors per second, he said, but most are the size of a grain of sandHe estimates a meteor that size might hit the earth once every few years — often times in places where there are no people, such as over the ocean, or during the day, making it harder to seeThis event was extraordinary because the meteor was pretty large, flew over a densely populated area and happened at night making it easy to seeGerdes says researchers will now try to find and study the fragments, examine the trajectory and angle that it enteredScreenshot of reports shown on Google Maps via the American Meteor Society.Here are five things to know about meteors: 1Get the terms right Meteoroids, NASA says, are small chunks of rock and debris in spaceThey become meteors upon falling through a planet's atmosphere and leave a bright trail as they are "heated to incandescence by the friction of the atmosphere." NASA explains that as the rock falls toward Earth, air resistance causes it to become extremely hot and what you see is a shooting star"That bright streak is not actually the rock, but rather the glowing hot air as the hot rock zips through the atmosphere." A meteor shower is when many meteoroids fall at onceThey're named for the constellation where their radiant is locatedPerseids come from Perseus, so it was named Perseids Chunks that hit the ground are called meteorites2Meteors may have played a part in the origins of life on EarthWhile meteoroids, meteors and meteorites cannot support life, they could have provided Earth with a source of amino acids, which are the "building blocks of life," NASA said 4There's a visible meteor shower somewhere on Earth roughly every 12 daysThere are about 30 meteor showers a year that people can watchSome showers — such as the Perseid meteor shower that occurs every August— have been around for more than a century, NASA saidThey were first observed about 2000 years ago and were documented in the Chinese annals5The color of the trail actually means somethingMeteors sometimes leave a colorful trailThat color is determined by the meteor's chemical composition and the way its atoms interact with molecules in the atmosphereThe meteor's atoms become hot entering the atmosphere and emit lightThey burn and release different wavelengths of light, or different colorsThe atmosphere's atoms become ionized by the hot meteor and they emit photons with certain wavelengthsIt's the combination of those two kinds of emissions that produce the colors you see in the skySodium atoms give off an orange-yellow light, iron atoms give off a yellow light, magnesium atoms give off a blue-green light, ionized calcium atoms might add a violet hue, and molecules of atmospheric nitrogen and oxygen atoms give off a red light, NASA said Photo credit: YouTube ScreenshotSubscribe Back to the Royal Oak Patch More from Royal Oak PatchUp next on Royal Oak Patch Dramatic Crash Along Highway Caught On Trooper's Dashcam: Watch ga("send", "event", "taboola", "served", "impression", 1, { "nonInteraction": 1 }); if (mobile_detect.is_phone) { window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-b', container: 'taboola-below-article-thumbnails', placement: 'Mobile Below Article Thumbnails', target_type: 'mix' }); } else { window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-a', container: 'taboola-below-article-thumbnails', placement: 'Below Article Thumbnails', target_type: 'mix' }); } window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({flush: true}); var disqus_shortname = "patchmedia"; var disqus_identifier = "27438707"; var disqus_title = "Michigan Fireball Meteor Registers As Quake: 5 Things To Know"; var disqus_url = "https://patch.com/michigan/royaloak/rare-michigan-meteor-registers-earthquake-5-things-know"; jQuery(document).ready(function() { jQuery('#show-disqus, .btn-comment-now').on('click', function(event){ jQuery.ajax({ type: "GET", url: "https://patchmedia.disqus.com/embed.js", dataType: "script", cache: true }); jQuery('#comments-guidelines').show(); event.target.id !== 'show-disqus' && jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: jQuery('#disqus_thread').offset().top - 220 }, 1000); jQuery('#show-disqus').slideUp(); return false; }); location.hash === '#comments' && jQuery('#show-disqus').click(); }); Show Comments Patch Community Guidelines Patch welcomes contributions and comments from our usersWe strive for civil, enlightened discussions on Patch stories and local issuesPlease abide by our posting standards: Be civil No profanity No personal attacks or insults Stay on topic Users who violate our posting rules will have their comments blocked or deletedUsers who flagrantly violate our standards can be banned at the moderator's discretion. × What are Featured Events? 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