Did a Meteorite Go Over Central Ohio Last Night?

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Thu, Feb 15 - 3:42 pm EDT | 11 years ago by
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Leonid600It 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.

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  • http://www.hnetinc.com hcker2000

    I am from the area. I heard at least 3 very loud sounds between 8pm and midnight last night.

    I looked out side after the first noise thinking it was ice or a car accident. Nothing was out of the ordinary.

    I didn’t think to look up well looking out side but my first instinct was to look up when I heard the noise.

    A friend and I are trying to gather as much info about this as we can find from local people.

  • http://www.myspace.com/thekoolaidmom thekoolaidmom

    We’ve had a concussive boom Tuesday night (April 15), then last night the next town over also had a boom at the same time as ours. Ours was heard over a 20 mile radius and their’s was over two counties. I’ve been looking this up, and someone in New York State also heard one about two hours after ours.

    I definately do NOT believe it was a meteor, as we’ve been told, because over and over these sounds are around the same time frame. That does NOT sound organic. And there is no ice to break up now. I found one report that military officials admitted to testing a rocket engine, but the people in that area disagreed, saying it didn’t sound like the usual testing they heard.

    This is getting stranger and stranger.

    • a friend

      What area were u in? County, city?

  • T Erwin

    My family and I were woke up this morning 2-5-09 around 4:30am by a load boom, we’re located in Pataskala right next to New Albany.


    I observed this last night. I was taking my dog outside sometime between 10-1030pm. It was a very starry night and I was looking up at the stars. I suddenly saw a bright orange/red round object, appeared to be on fire, streaking across the sky. My first thought was that it was a meteorite. I have never seen anything like it before. It had a long firey tail trailing behind it. I live in Pickerington and saw this in the sky to the south/south-west. It streaked in a downward motion and at about a 30-45 degree angle. It appeared to disappear as it reached about housetop level.

    I was just looking online to see if anyone else had seen something like this. I saw something about 2 satellites colliding in outerspace and people in Texas had reported seeing similar things. Could what I saw have been parts of the satellite???

  • Chuck Harper

    I work nights and am on the road allot. It is not uncommon to see 3 or more shooting starts in a week. But, Last night at 02:45 I was in Circleville on North Court Street heading south and I saw what looked like a huge shooting star, As in 30 times the normal size shooting star. It was somewhere East/North East. It came down at a pretty steep angle and it lit up the clouds as came down which gave it some depth.I looked at the time because i knew it would be pretty significant. I didn’t hear any boom. But it would explain reports and general area. Id say where the boom was heard was where it came down. There is some video online of a similar event in South Africa but it seemed to be green like it was iron. The one I saw was brilliant white!

  • J. T. Freeman

    I have pictures of a long smoke trail that abruptly ends taken around 7:20 as I was driving into Berea, OH for my son’s concert at Baldwin Wallace. The smoke trail was several times thicker than an airplane contrail and although I have no pictures I saw it as it moved and it looked like a large object burning up in the atmosphere. I saw it as it moved directly west from the east. The smoke was completely white and definitely bubbling and boiling at the point of entry. Following the trail back it had interruptions at the start and then went completely solid as it went along.

  • Daniela

    Very loud noise and light in the room woke me up at 5:49 am this morning. Lasted about 15-20 seconds then stopped. After pause of 10 seconds I heard two explosions far away. (Clinton/Norton area)

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