Meteor lights up sky, triggers mild earthquake in Michigan

Bright light seen around Great Lakes region Tuesday night

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

DETROIT – Tuesday night in Michigan was a lot more exciting than residents probably planned it to be.

Around 8:10 p.m., a meteor flew past Southern Michigan, triggered a weak earthquake and blowing up social media feeds.

The United States Geological Survey confirmed Tuesday that a meteor was sighted over Metro Detroit and caused a magnitude 2.0 earthquake, according to the National Weather Service.

SEE: Videos show meteor in Metro Detroit

WDIV-TV, KSAT's sister station in Detroit, received hundreds of calls from across the area from residents who saw a bright light and heard a loud explosion.

Reports started pouring in around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. Members of the newsroom staff also reported seeing the flash and hearing a noise.

Paul Gross: Light possibly caused by bolide

WDIV meteorologist Paul Gross said the bright light and loud noise might have been caused by a bolide, which is a meteor that breaks up in the atmosphere.

What exactly is a bolide? Where did debris land?

Experts weigh in on mysterious boom that rattled Metro Detroit

Social media blows up after mysterious boom in Metro Detroit

VIEW: Map shows people across massive area witnessed bright light, loud explosion

A map posted on the organization's website shows several reports throughout Metro Detroit. There are also reports in West Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

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.

Michigan meteor: How valuable are meteorites?

As it turns out, there is a decent market for meteorite - which is what it's called once it hits the ground. 


About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.