A meteor zoomed across the skies of northern Vermont Sunday night traveling at an estimated speed of 42,000 miles per hour, CNN reports.
According to Live Science, the meteor’s explosive journey through the atmosphere released energy equivalent of 440 pounds of TNT, suggesting the space rock likely weighed about 10 pounds and was approximately 6 inches in diameter.
The falling meteor created a spectacular light show, fragmenting so violently it shook cars and buildings across the state, according to CBS News.
CNN reports more than 100 people saw the fireball as it shot across the twilight sky around 5:38 p.m. local time.
What Vermonters are saying
“No loud boom as reported by others, but a rushing sound that made me look up at just the right moment,” wrote Chris Hrotic in a comment on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page (via Live Science). “It was extremely bright and absolutely spectacular!”
According to Newsweek, another commenter said, “I had just walked out my front door in Fairfax with my dogs at about 5:40 p.m. Then what sounded like a huge explosion and it continued to rattle for at least 15-20 seconds. My little dog was terrified and my big dog continued to growl.”
According to the Boston Globe, Jeremy LaClair was also out walking his dog when the meteor zoomed by. “It sounded like a bomb went off,” he said. A few hours after the event, LaClair posted a video of the fireball on Twitter.
In a post on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page, the agency said the meteor first appeared 52 miles above the northern Vermont sky and traveled northeast at a speed of 42,000 miles per hour. The rock traversed 33 miles through Earth’s upper atmosphere before burning up over Orleans County.
In a later post, the agency added: “The space rock fragmented violently, producing a pressure wave that rattled buildings and generated the sound heard by those near the trajectory. ... Such a pressure wave can also couple into the ground, causing minor ‘tremors’ that can be picked up by seismic instruments in the area” (via CBS News).
According to CBS News, NASA described the event as “a nice little firework, courtesy of Mother Nature.”