The meteor lit up the southeast MI skies and caused a size 2.0 natural disaster 40 miles from Detroit, as indicated by the NWS. Murray says until someone finds a piece of the meteor, it is just that and not a meteorite.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the force of the meteor led to a small 2.0 magnitude natural disaster. The American Meteor Society collected at least 200 reports of the incident, which for around a second was so bright it lit parts of the Detroit region like it was daytime. Bill Cooke with NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office told The Detroit News Wednesday morning it was "definitely a meteoroid" and a rare sight for MI. Fred Levine said through an email that while he was sitting in his living room in Commerce Township, he saw a bright flashing light, most probably lightning, outside his west-facing front door, at about 8:19 p.m.
Cooke estimated the object to have been about six to nine feet across, weighing more than a ton, and having traveled between 40,000 to 50,000 miles to get to Earth.
When they are particularly bright, meteors are called "fireballs".
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Initially though, as curious residents took to social media by droves to share videos of the dazzling display, the National Weather Service wasn't so sure what these star-gazers had seen. Some people reported hearing a loud boom and what looked like a fireball. That chunk was recovered from nearby Lake Chebarkul, and it would have likely produced a small hole in the ground had it struck land, instead.
Scientists who spoke with Michigan Live on Wednesday, also theorized that meteor was large.
NASA officials had a simple explanation, saying a meteoroid entered Earth's atmosphere about 8:08 p.m.
Murray states this meteor was traveling at a relatively slow speed for meteors - only 28,000 miles per hour. That means it's possible that meteorites could be found somewhere to the northwest of Detroit.