Video Shows Moment Meteor Enters the Planet's Atmosphere Causing "Loud Deep Boom"
Numerous cameras caught flash in the sky.
Residents of northern Utah and southern Idaho were startled on Saturday morning when a loud boom caused many residents to look skyward. Luckily, several cameras caught the likely cause. The resulting video, along with witness descriptions, captured an event that was truly unusual in the state, causing experts and even governors to weigh in. Read on to find out what happened.
The boom was heard around 8:30 am on Saturday. It was reported by several people in Utah and Idaho, including Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, who tweeted that it wasn't related to an earthquake or any military testing. (The latter was the source of a similar boom heard in the area last April.) Instead, he said, the cause was likely a meteor that exploded when it entered the Earth's atmosphere.
The American Meteor Society said it received 14 reports of a fireball flashing over Wyoming, Utah, and Ohio on Saturday morning.
Doorbell cameras and other surveillance video started hitting the internet, and it appeared to confirm a meteor. One wide-angle shot from the Snowbasin Resort captured a bright white flash streaking across the sky.
The National Weather Service's Salt Lake City office tweeted that its lightning detection mapper picked up two red and pink pixels over the area. The agency said the pixels were "not associated with evidence of thunderstorm activity in satellite or radar," but were likely a result of the meteor trail.
According to CNN, the meteor sighting coincided with the final peak of the Perseid meteor shower, which took place from Thursday through Saturday.
The NWS confirmed the meteor on Sunday morning.
Wendi Melling, a South Salt Lake resident, described a "loud deep booming sound" followed by rumbling. "I thought I heard something fall in the house. I have since searched the house top to bottom and the only thing I've found was one slat from our wooden fence that had fallen, so that's a relief," she wrote on Facebook message. 'It did sound similar to sonic booms I've heard before, followed by a short incident of a sound similar to low rolling thunder … This rumbling noise that followed the boom was maybe on 3-4 seconds."
KSLTV 5 advised residents of the relevant states to check their yards—it's possible the meteor exploded and scattered, and pieces of it may be highly valuable. "Some of them are more expensive than gold," said NASA volunteer Patrick Wiggins. He said the pieces look like regular rocks and may be hard to detect unless they're found someplace unusual, like on a roof or driveway.
And if you car was hit by a meteor chunk, all the better, said Wiggins. "When cars tend to get hit, collectors snap them up at a real premium. If you had a rock hit your car this morning, it might have just gone way up in value," he said.