Pieces of meteor found in Michigan

Meteor, Zeeland
A home security camera captures a meteor streaking through the sky over Zeeland on Jan. 16, 2018.

(WOOD) — Two people in Michigan have found meteorite fragments associated with the meteor that streaked across the sky Tuesday night.

The exact location of the finds were not released, but the American Meteor Society confirmed they were in Michigan.

The report was released by the AMS around 11 a.m. Thursday.

The two men who have found the fragments have been identified as Robert Ward and Larry Atkins. The exact location of the finds were not released, but the AMS did confirm it was in Michigan.

Although the American Meteor Society has not disclosed the exact location of the finds, it appears the rock has fallen on the surface of a frozen lake.

The original trajectory of the meteor was on the east side of the state. The map below shows the fireball meteor trajectory indicated by an arrow, and a heat map indicating the highest concentration of reports from viewers.

Fireball trajectory and heat map of reports. (Courtesy of the American Meteor Society)


The  impact of the meteor was enough to trigger a small earthquake, according to the US Geological Survey, reported as a 2.0 at Wall Lake Michigan.

Location of the meteorite impact earthquake (Courtesy of USGS)


The falling meteor Tuesday was large enough to be considered a “fireball meteor” on scientific records. It was seen exploding in the air as it finished it’s path entering the atmosphere.

The American Meteor Society received more than 600 reports of the event, many of which were from people in Michigan.

Map showing total reports of the January 16th, 2018 fireball meteor (Courtesy of AMS)


Small meteors often never make it to the ground, burning up in the earth’s atmosphere before they reach the surface. However, if the rock is big enough like in the January 16 case, meteorites can be found.

Other fragments may still be waiting to be found in Michigan from Tuesday’s event. With warming temperatures, they may become much more difficult to spot.