Michigan stunned as bright explosion fills night sky

An exceptionally bright lighting in the night sky of Michigan has sent sleepy residents scurrying for cover, wondering whether it was some military weapon that exploded mid-air or an alien spaceship that blew up in the sky. Moreover, an earthquake of 2.0 magnitude, calculated by the United States Geological Survey, was also felt by them soon after the explosion.

Although conspiracy theorists were reconciling with the cause, NASA was quick to put forward its explanation -- a meteoroid, which entered the atmosphere of earth, caused that fireball. "It was definitely a meteor," NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office chief Bill Cooke told The Washington Post.

According to Cooke, that intense glow, in the sky over Michigan, was created because a comparatively small asteroid had invaded earth's atmosphere and got heated up. It was moving at a speed of 28,000mph and then it began to melt after entering the atmosphere. This caused the dazzling light that the Michigan locals witnessed on Tuesday night in the sky.

As per Cooke's estimates, the said meteor's diameter was around one or two yards in width and its weight must have been over a metric ton. He also added that the meteor must have travelled around 40,000-50,000 miles before entering our home planet.

While it's common for meteors of this size to enter earth's atmosphere, "most people don't see meteors this bright. For an area like Michigan, it's very rare," noted Cooke.

Also Read: Giant asteroid to fly-by very close to Earth in February

NASA also confirmed that the explosion was quite a "huge event" and they are currently analyzing it. The American space agency's meteor camera was able to record the event precisely at 8:08 pm in Oberlin College, Ohio, reported Detroit News.

NASA has also developed a map, according to which the landing site of that rare meteorite was probably the Livingston County. Some fragments of it could have made their ways to the west side of Howell as well, stated the agency. Here is the map:

The common people on social media, before figuring out what that shining light in the sky was, started sharing their pictures and videos of the unusual sight. Here are some of the posts from social media, shared by the people who experienced it first-hand:

This article was first published on January 18, 2018