Expert: SE Michigan meteor was 'classic bolide'

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Screen shot from a Ryan Evans

UPDATE: The United States Geological Survey has confirmed that the meteor registered the force of a 2.0 magnitude earthquake.

Viewers from all over metro Detroit called the newsroom and shared videos of what appears to be a meteor lighting up the night sky. 

FOX 2's Rich Luterman said it happens quite a bit, but at about 8:10 p.m. Tuesday, reports came in about an exploding shock wave and bright flash. It likely it burned up in the atmosphere.

Bob Trembly, an expert with the Warren Astronomical Society spoke to FOX 2 about the meteor, calling it a "classic" bolide.

"If you have ever seen a meteor shower or you see a shooting star, that's a small little meteor," he said. "Something a little larger is called a fireball and that can go across the sky and there can be some fragmentation."

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Trembly said what sets this one apart is that it blew up at the end which makes it a bolide.

"That is a fireball that has a bright flash and it explodes," he said. "What you are seeing there is when a meteor hits the atmosphere it causes the air to ionize and turns it into plasma and that is the bright light you see from a meteor. Well if they are large enough they get a little deeper into the atmosphere and they can explode like you saw. 

"And this typically happens dozens of miles up into the atmosphere."

When it exploded, it created the boom that so many people reported hearing. 

Trembly adds that the meteor could have landed somewhere, but is unclear if it was maybe in Michigan, a lake or as far away as Canada.