It was brought to my attention from my fellow bloggers at b5media that there was a very loud sonic boom heard over Central Ohio last night. From the Newark Advocate:
“It” was a loud bang, something loud enough to be heard all over the county, and loud enough to make small objects move in houses.
Reports have rolled into The Advocate from Hanover to Heath, from Buckeye Lake to Granville. Rumors range from an earthquake to a meteor strike, a sonic boom to something ice-related.
I’m not so sure it could be a meteorite, the timing reports were pretty widespread,
The Licking County Sheriff’s Office reported about 10 calls between 8:35 p.m. and 3:48 a.m. from residents hearing loud noises. Five of the calls came between 8:51 and 9:43 p.m.
Even though timing reports are pretty unreliable, going from 8:30pm to 4:00 am is a pretty big spread. Most meteor reports I’ve been involved with (and I admit there’s not that many), have had a much tighter range.
Meteorologists (don’t you think this is what people who study meteors should be called?) have ruled out thunder, and the local earthquake center has ruled out any seismic activity. So, what could it be?
It could be ice breaking up:
Not everyone agreed that it’s a meteor, however. NBC4 meteorologist Jym Ganahl said every contact he’s heard about the bang was writing from an area that got some layer of ice earlier this week.
“I’m 100 percent certain that it’s ice,” he said. “It’s only the areas that had a lot of ice. None have been from areas with just snow.”
It could also be a frostquake:
Hansen did offer one idea, but not one that would explain the noise over such a large area.
He described a phenomenon called a “frostquake,” in which water seeping into the ground and freezing can cause the earth to break up and create localized bangs.
That region has had a lot of cold, snowy and icy weather over the last few days.
The lack of seismic activity, no thunder and the lack of any statistically significant eyewitnesses to see the fireball, sort of makes me incline towards the ice theory. Meteors that leave that loud of a sonic boom are pretty bright, I would think there would be more witnesses to it, unless of course the sky was overcast, preventing eyewitnesses.
If it was a meteor, it was probably larger than a soccer ball to make that kind of boom heard over such an area, and it probably exploded in the atmosphere. But these are just guesses based on what I’ve read in this one article.
I’m leaning towards the ice theory though.
Any readers out there hear it? I’d love to hear what you experienced.
Thanks to William for the tip.