Last week, a fireball exploded in the sky above Michigan, and the stunning event was captured on video. You can watch the spectacular sight at multiple angles in the videos collected right here. Soon after the event, astronomers at NASA and elsewhere confirmed what many had suspected at the time: The explosion above Michigan was a meteorite being blasted apart as it entered Earth’s atmosphere.
Of course once people had confirmation that the explosion above Southeastern Michigan was indeed a meteorite, the hunt was on. Meteorite hunters from across the United States flocked to the Detroit area in search of pieces of the space rock, and now the first fragments of the Michigan meteor have officially been found.
Last week’s meteor explosion above Michigan was one of the most exciting stories of the week. As the footage shows, locals in and around Southeastern Michigan got quite a display in the night sky. In fact, some people as far away as New York City reported seeing the fireball zip through the night sky.
NASA said that the meteor was about 6 feet in diameter, and it was roughly 20 miles above the Earth when it burst into flames on last Tuesday evening. At that height, it’s no wonder why it was visible from so far away. But some people travelled to Michigan from distances much farther away than New York last week, and they made their way to the Detroit metro area for one reason alone: To hunt down tiny fragments of the meteor.
Meteorite hunting is quite popular among many amateur and professional astronomers, and they flocked to Michigan last week in hopes of being among the first to find the remains of the space rock that exploded in the skies last week. As it turns out, it wouldn’t take long for the first meteorite fragments to be found. As Phys.org reported and the American Meteor Society confirmed, professional meteorite hunters Larry Atkins and Robert Ward located the first meteorite fragments on Thursday.
Atkins owns a meteorite hunting company called Cosmic Connection Meteorites, while Ward runs Robert Ward Meteorites. Both men are based in Arizona, and they came away quite impressed with their haul. “It’s a really spectacular specimen,” Ward said. “Two days ago, this was hundreds of thousands of miles past the moon, and now I’m standing here holding it in my hand. It’s been a real good day.”
According to the report, Ward and Atkins used seismic data as well as Doppler radar and witness accounts to narrow hone in on the location of the recovered meteor fragments.