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‘Michigan Meteor’ lights up the sky — and social media: ‘This was pretty close’

MILWAUKEE -- The "Michigan meteor," as it's been called, lit up the sky and then made a splash on social media. Parts of the space rock could be cooling off in someone's backyard after it was spotted Tuesday night, Jan. 16.

"What people saw was it coming in and brightening up and then exploding," said Bob Bonadurer, Milwaukee Public Museum.

Bob Bonadurer

Bonadurer, director of the Planetarium at the Milwaukee Public Museum said the real deal happened Tuesday night across the Midwestern sky. Around 7 p.m., a meteor came streaking across the eastern sky -- erupting into a "fireball."

"Michiagan meteor"

Reports of the flash and even a loud boom came flooding into social media.

"One report I read, saw the explosion and it was about 15 seconds later they heard the boom -- meaning this was pretty close," said Bonadurer.

In fact, FOX6 Weather Expert Tom Wachs shared a tidbit on Twitter; the exploding meteor registered as a 2.0 magnitude earthquake in parts of Michigan.

"The Michigan meteor is what they are calling it," said Bonadurer.

Bob Bonadurer

Dashcam video of the fireball was sent to FOX6 from a viewer in Pleasant Prairie.

To add to the excitement, Bonadurer said Tuesday's meteor was likely big enough that parts made a crash landing.

"It's rare. It's a very rare rock and some will say they are more valuable than gold," said Bonadurer.

"This thing weighs 400 pounds," Bonadurer said.

Bonadurer said Tuesday's meteor was maybe the size of a bowling ball before it exploded, and created the spectacular fireball. But before you go looking for it, Bonadurer said you can always see real meteorites at Milwaukee's Public Museum.