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Suspected meteor lights up northern sky, causes sonic boom

By The Blade, Toledo staff (TNS) • Updated Jan 17, 2018 at 7:05 PM

A flash of light and a rumble in the night became the talk of social media Tuesday night — and of callers to law-enforcement agencies in the Toledo area.

A Greenwich resident is one of the people who reported seeing it. 

Police and sheriff’s offices received multiple calls from those curious about the event, reported about 8:05 p.m. Dash cam and security camera videos appeared shortly afterward on the Internet and social media.

The National Weather Service office for Detroit posted — and later deleted — a tweet in reply to a query about lightning and thunder in Livonia, Mich., a Detroit suburb.

“No lightning was detected. Appears to have been a meteor,” the tweet said. An hour later, the weather service confirmed on Twitter that the flash and boom were not thunder or lightning, “but instead likely a meteor. We continue to monitor feeds from astronomical agencies for official confirmation of a meteor.”

Jay Berschback, chief meteorologist with WTVG-TV, Channel 13, said his station received many phone calls from those who saw the flash in the northern sky.

“I’d describe it as a fireball,” Berschback said. “It’s a meteor burning up as it’s entering the Earth’s atmosphere.”

There have been no reports of impact, he said, and the meteor likely broke apart and burned up in the atmosphere as most do, he said. The sonic boom followed several minutes after the flash, he said.

The event appeared to have been north in Michigan. He received reports during a Facebook Live event of sightings in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

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©2018 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

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