Early Nov. 18th, eyewitnesses reported an explosion in the atmosphere above Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho in the western United States. Some said the fireball “turned night into day” and produced shock waves that shook the ground when it exploded just after midnight Mountain Standard Time. Infrasound recordings of the blast suggest a small asteroid hitting Earth’s atmosphere and exploding with an energy of 0.5 to 1 kiloton of TNT. As the sun rose in the morning, remnants of the explosion were visible as noctilucent clouds over the region. The best video of the extremely bright event was just recently released, from the University of Utah’s Eccles Observatory.
Scientists say that although the fireball appeared during the Leonid meteor shower, it was not a Leonid. Experts liken the event to the Park Forest fireball of 2003, which scattered dozens of meteorites across a suburb of Chicago. Meteorites are likely from this fireball as well. Check out this page on Spaceweather.com for a picture gallery of the event, as well as a nocticulent cloud gallery. Plus, stay tuned for developing information about any meteorites found in the possible fall zone.