One year ago: Meteor lights up Michigan sky, shaking the earth

Possible meteor streaks through sky in Sterling Heights (VIDEO: Kristen Donahue VanRosenberg)
Possible meteor streaks through sky in Sterling Heights (VIDEO: Kristen Donahue VanRosenberg)

The night of Jan. 16, 2018 was a night many will remember forever.

Just after 8 p.m., many Michiganders started reporting a loud noise and bright light streaking through the sky. The Local 4 newsroom phone line was blowing up, which always means something is going on.

Local 4 received calls from Detroit, Southgate, South Lyon, Howell, Huntington Woods, Shelby Township, Lyon Township, Allen Park, Taylor, Ann Arbor, Troy, Canton Township, Dearborn, Auburn Hills, Monroe, Inkster, Wayne, Westland and even more cities.

Well, it turns out something had happened: A meteor, or a bollide (a meteor that breaks apart), flew threw the air in Michigan, shaking the earth with a loud boom. This differs from a fireball, which is a bright meteor that doesn’t break up.

The meteor also caused a big boom when it exploded that many people heard and some people even felt. Contrary to what you may have heard, this meteor did not directly cause an earthquake. Rather, the mild shake you may have experienced was equivalent to a 2.0 magnitude earthquake, but it wasn't an earthquake itself, which is caused by shifting tectonic plates beneath the earth’s crust.

Look back: New information about Fireball 2018 in Metro Detroit

Videos of the meteor

Many Michiganders caught footage of the meteor on their dashcam videos, porch cameras and phones. Here are some of the best: 

Search for meteorite

Following the meteor, the search started for meteorite, which can be a very valuable find, depending on size and condition.

Researchers from the American Meteor Society recovered some meteorite. It appears some meteorite was found near Charlotte, Michigan and near Whitmore Lake.

What is the difference between a fireball and a bolide?

A fireball is another term for a very bright meteor, generally brighter than magnitude -4, which is about the same magnitude of the planet Venus in the morning or evening sky.

A bolide is a special type of fireball which explodes in a bright terminal flash at its end, often with visible fragmentation.

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