It measured between 0.5 kiloton and 1.0 kilotons, it lit up the Utah sky, it landed some where in the Western Utah Desert. And it happened on Tuesday Night. It was the Great Utah Ball of Fire!
A fast-moving meteor lit up the night skies over most of Utah just after midnight Wednesday. Moments later, the phones lit up at KSL as people across the state called to tell us what they saw and ask what it was.
Scientists are calling it a "remarkable midnight fireball." The source of all the excitement was basically a rock, falling from space.
In addition to KSL, witnesses to the meteor quickly began call 911.
"I'm currently driving, but I just saw a giant blue flash in the sky, and it came down into the city," a caller from Ogden said.
A caller in Bountiful told dispatchers, "It flashed from the west, and it lit up the whole freakin' neighborhood."
A Salt Lake City caller said, "Ma'am, I'm not kidding you. I am terrified."
Professor David Kieda is chair of the University of Utah's astronomy department. He said the energy of the meteor coming into Earth's atmosphere was so powerful it has to be measured in Terawatts.
"It's almost like the consumption of the United States all at once. It was a fraction of a second," Kieda said.
When a meteor enters the atmosphere, it gives off a lot of heat and light. Folks at the Clark Planetarium say this rock was big--between the size of a microwave and washer-dryer unit.
Continue reading here.
Meteor Streak Lights Up the Night Across the State of Utah
20 years ago the people would have panicked thinking the bright flash of light would have been a nuclear explosion.
Today we don't panic as much but will we feel the same if the nutcases in Iran get a nuclear weapon?