'What was that?': 'Boom' that rattled Utah residents likely caused by meteor, officials say




  • In Business
  • 2022-08-14 19:15:26Z
  • By USA TODAY
 

A loud "boom" reported by numerous residents throughout northern Utah early Saturday was likely a meteor, officials said.

The "boom" was heard around northern Utah and in parts of southern Idaho around 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The noise was so loud, the University of Utah's seismograph monitoring department reported some people felt the "boom," causing concerns of an earthquake.

"We can confirm that it was not an earthquake," the department said on Twitter.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox tweeted he heard the noise while on a morning run in Salt Lake City, adding the noise didn't come from nearby military instillations.

The noise was captured on home security cameras, and some shared footage with audio on social media. One resident was left wondering, "What was that?"

South Salt Lake resident Wendi Melling was heading out the door Saturday morning when she heard the noise, which she described to the Salt Lake Tribune as a "loud deep booming sound" followed by a few seconds of rumbling.

"I thought I heard something fall in the house," Melling wrote in a Facebook message to the outlet.

"It did sound similar to sonic booms I've heard before, followed by a short incident of a sound similar to low rolling thunder," Melling continued. "This rumbling noise that followed the boom was maybe on 3-4 seconds."

Amid the confusion, the National Weather Service seemed to find the answer. They tweeted their Geostationary Lightning Mapper, which can detect lightning in clouds, spotted a signature north of Salt Lake City that wasn't part of a thunderstorm.

The service tweeted it was likely a meteor's trail or flash, "bolstering the meteor theory."

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The weather service's tweet coincides with a report from the American Meteor Society. The society received 14 reports of the meteor in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming around the time of the boom, according to the society's website. Snowbasin Resort in Hunstville, just north of Salt Lake City, posted footage of a meteor streaking across the sky.

EarthSky says meteors can make a noise when they break through Earth's atmosphere, creating a sonic boom-like sound.

When meteors turn bright as they enter Earth's atmosphere, they become "fireballs," which can light up skies, according to the American Meteor Society. NASA says meteors and fireballs typically don't stay intact while passing through Earth's atmosphere, and sometimes fragments, or meteorites, can be found.

Contributing: Associated Press

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What caused that large 'boom' over Utah on Saturday? Likely a meteor

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