Meteor Arizona: Loud Boom, Streaking Light in Sky Stuns Residents

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 06:53 AM

By Michael Mullins

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A meteor shower over Arizona stunned residents Tuesday night as they heard a loud boom accompanied by a bright light streaking across the horizon.

The explosions could be heard from Tucson to as far away as Las Vegas, Nev., ABC15.com reported.

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Arizona resident Tony Kubrak's house shook from the explosion, he told KGUN9 News.

"My wife and I and my son were sitting in the house, and we felt this absolutely tremendous explosion, I mean, it shook the windows, it shook everything in the house," Kubrak told KGUN. "I stepped outside, and had to be no more than three minutes later after I hear all of this, and I see this tremendous, white, bright light in the western sky. And it was just...it was absolutely enormous, I couldn't believe it."


According to NASA, Tuesday night's meteor shower is just a forerunner of the annual Geminid meteor shower that kicks off Thursday night and will be visible around the world, CNN reported.

In addition to the bright light that momentarily lit up the night sky over Arizona, NASA says it recorded nine other meteors shooting through the Earth's atmosphere.

The Arizona meteor, however, was missed by the space agency due to the relatively slow speed it traveled, only 45,000 mph. The nine meteors the agency picked up were all traveling upwards of 78,000 miles per hour, the speed at which the Geminid meteors move, NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told CNN.

According to Cooke, the Arizona meteor's direction was not typical for a meteor belonging to the Geminid meteor shower. The space rock weighed approximately 100 pounds and had a diameter of approximately 16 inches before burning up in the atmosphere.

In November, a similar meteor blast was captured over Southern California. Much like the Arizona meteor, California's space rock had a mysteriousness aspect to it; the North American Aerospace Defense Command's weather department was unable to definitively say it was a meteor.



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