Kane County Folks Say They Felt, Saw Flash of Meteor That Hit Michigan

Kane County Folks Say They Felt, Saw Flash of Meteor That Hit Michigan

It seems like something out of science fiction, but several Kane County residents said they either felt a slight tremor or saw the flash of a meteor that struck central Michigan on Tuesday night.

The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed Wednesday that the meteor struck ground around 7:10 p.m. Tuesday.

The USGS said the strike caused an earthquake measuring 2.0 on the Richter scale.

The American Meteor Society said as of 3:30 p.m. today (Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018) that it has received more than 355 reports about of a fireball event seen above Michigan, northeast of Detroit.

“The fireball was seen primarily from Michigan but was also seen from Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Ontario (Canada),” the AMS said.

Kane County Office of Emergency Management Director Don Bryant said his office has not received any reports from people who witnessed the fireball or felt the earthquake. Several Kane County employees said they felt a tremor or saw a flash of light around that time, but none of the reports are confirmed to be related to the Michigan fireball.

The AMS Meteor Activity Outlook says the moon will reach its new phase tonight, enhancing the chances for meteor observation. Over the weekend, the waning crescent moon will rise during the early morning hours but will not interfere with meteor observing.

“This was a very slow moving meteor — speed of about 28,000 miles per hour (45,000km/hour). This fact, combined with the brightness of the meteor (which suggests a fairly big space rock), shows that the object penetrated deep into the atmosphere before it broke apart (which produced the sounds heard by at least 77 observers). It is likely that there are meteorites on the ground near this region,” the AMS said.

According to media reports, some people in Illinois and throughout the Midwest captured the meteor on camera.