Boom heard as bright flash streaks across sky

U.S. Geological Survey says meteorite caused earthquake in southeast Michigan

A meteor over I-75 near Bloomfield Hills on Jan. 16, 2018. (Courtesy Mike Austin/YouTube)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — People across Michigan reported seeing a bright flash in the sky Tuesday evening.

Storm Team 8 says the phenomenon spotted around 8:10 p.m. was a meteor. The National Weather Service in Detroit confirmed it was not thunder or lightning and said it was a “likely meteor.”

>>Bill’s Blog: Fireball over Michigan

The U.S. Geological Survey later said the meteorite caused a magnitude 2.0 earthquake, with its epicenter near New Haven on the state’s east side.

Chief meteorologist Bill Steffen says the streak of light is called a fireball or bolide.

Several videos of it from security and dash cameras were posted online. Mike Austin posted one such video captured by his dashcam as he drove north on I-75 near Bloomfield Hills.

Storm Team 8 says the fireball was visible over an area with a diameter of about 200 miles. Reports of sightings came in from seven states and southwest Ontario, Canada.

WOOD TV8 viewers reported seeing it near Holland, in Byron Center, Grandville, north of Martin and Marshall, among other places.

A meteor is a piece of space debris that enters the Earth’s atmosphere at speeds up to 160,000 mph, the friction with the atmosphere causing heat up and glow. Most are smaller than a basketball and burn up completely before hitting the ground.

This meteor also came with a sonic boom, with many reporting a loud sound.