Anyone within a few hours of Detroit on Tuesday evening could see night turn into day for less than a second, though no one was expecting it to happen.
The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed early this morning that a meteor broke up over Michigan at around 8:05 p.m. on Tuesday night, causing a loud boom, a bright flash of light, and a minor, 2.0 earthquake in the Detroit area.
The USGS pinpoints the small village of New Haven in Macomb County, Mich. as the meteor’s point of re-entry (read: explosion), but people all across the northern Midwest United States and Southwestern Ontario reported seeing the flash and / or hearing the boom.
Dozens of reports came in from Windsor, Ontario, which lies right next to Detroit across the Canada/U.S. border. It’s about 3 and a half hours from Toronto by car.
— Katrine (@Katrina_Srour) January 17, 2018
The National Weather Service for Detroit/Pontiac confirmed around 11:18 p.m last night that the flash and shaking homes were, indeed, the result of a meteor – but prior to that, a lot of people were worried that it could have been something more nefarious.
We sure it was a meteor?
Detroit is a little close to Toronto. https://t.co/UN5cPPWR60
— This Is Rochelle, I HATE Nazis (@RR416) January 17, 2018
“A meteor lit up Ohio over Toledo and Michigan and now everyone on social is hoping that’s all it was and not the North Koreans,” wrote one person on Twitter, summarizing what the atmosphere online was like for about an hour last night.
Multiple 911 calls are coming of a meteor fireball that passed overhead. There is no need to call 911. It’s a natural meteor fireball.
— Lansing EM (@LansingEM) January 17, 2018
Worries about nukes and aliens aside, social media sites were filled with video footage.
Most people captured the meteor with dash cams or home security systems.
— Topher No Grace (@topherlaine) January 17, 2018
Others simply shared stories of where they were when the sky lit up.
“I saw this last night!” wrote someone from Sarnia, Ontario, on Reddit. “In a hot tub sitting outside with some friends, we see a flash in the sky. Our first instinct was that it looked like lightning, but that didn’t make any sense.”
“Interesting thing is we live about 2 hours away on Lake Huron,” the Redditor continued. “And it was still pretty bright!”
So far, it could have been a:
2. Mothra returning to earth
3. The Tardis
4 Chinese Space Station Crap
I’m going with the Tardis…. pic.twitter.com/UofRJgEqIk
— Motor City 911 (@DetroitScanner) January 17, 2018
Crazy stuff. Very cool. We’re all relieved it wasn’t aliens or Kim Jong-un.