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NASA: Meteorites 'likely' on ground in southeast Michigan

WZZM-TV • Jan 17, 2018 at 10:34 AM

Pieces of a meteor that ripped through the sky Tuesday night are "likely" on the ground in southeast Michigan, according to a verified NASA Facebook page.

People from metro Detroit to neighboring states saw and heard the thunderous fireball at roughly 8:15 p.m. that streaked through an area northwest of Detroit, above Brighton and Howell, according to the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page.

NASA's findings are similar to that of the American Meteor Society website, "and we have calculated that this was a very slow moving meteor – speed of about 28,000 m.p.h. This fact, combined with the brightness of the meteor (which suggests a fairly big space rock at least a yard across), shows that the object penetrated deep into the atmosphere before it broke apart (which produced the sounds heard by many observers)," according to the Facebook page.

Doppler radar data show a "signature characteristic of meteoritic material falling to earth," according to the post. The fireball had perhaps a brightness between the full moon and the sun.

The meteor caused a 2.0 magnitude earthquake, the United States Geological Survey reported on its website.

Other states where people reported seeing a fireball included Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Ontario, Canada. Multiple images were posted of night skies being lit up, as social media exploded with people reporting what they saw or heard.

If you find a piece of meteorite, and you're willing to part with it, you could be able to sell it for $300 per gram or more – meaning 1 pound could be worth $1 million, according to an eBay post from Kellyco Metal Detectors

"Meteorites are rarer than gold, platinum, diamonds or emeralds. Owning one is the only way to touch the cosmos, and the demand for such an experience is quite high all over the world!" according to the post.

Free Press staff writer Hasan Dudar and Associated Press contributed to this report.

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