Just at about 8:15 p.m. people residing in metro Detroit saw a bright flashing light followed by booming sound and shaking of homes. According to Michael Narlock, Head of Astronomy at Cranbrook Institute of Science, Tuesday's event was possibly a Bolide meteor, which is very large and explodes in the atmosphere. But the brilliant fireball was observed across six states and in Canada.
According to NASA, the fireball entered the atmosphere just north of Brighton and landed just west of Howell.
The meteor caused a 2.0 magnitude natural disaster, the United States Geological Survey reported on its website.
United States Geologic Survey natural disaster map shows the M2.0 "quake" set off by this bolide. "You have the Earth revolving around the sun, and you have this debris also in motion".
A giant glowing fireball, most probably a "meteor" lit up the night sky over MI on Tuesday. "So there are some meteors that are traveling over 100,000 miles an hour", she said.
The AMS website was not responding on Tuesday night, presumably due to a flood of people attempting to visit the site. The main concern with these is the "airburst" - the shockwave set off by the asteroid exploding - which can shatter windows and cause injuries. NASA's meteorwatch Facebook page largely agrees and suggests that this probably means that pieces of the rock made it to Earth. Some witnesses reported hearing a boom as the meteor appeared. The light is produced as the object burns due to the friction with the atmosphere.
Doppler radar, normally used to track precipitation and storm motion, has become a valuable tool for meteorite hunters in recent years. And if any parts of it survive the fall (and the explosion, if there is one) and make it to Earth's surface are called meteorites. It could be an instance where they had a larger batch of past cases to cross-reference, but it could also be an example of a larger Federal organization shaping an unexplained event with a context that best suits their narrative.