Meteor Lights up Nighttime Sky in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana

Meteor flash (Mike Austin / Paul Dellegatto / Twitter)

A meteor illuminated the sky in the Midwest on Tuesday evening, briefly turning night into day over portions of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana before it crashed, emitting a loud booming sound.

Dashboard-mounted cameras and home security cameras captured the path of the meteor and the flash on impact. Many of the videos were posted on social media, causing “#meteor” to trend on Twitter.

Small meteorites are constantly hitting earth’s atmosphere, usually burning up entirely on entry. There are several annual meteor showers, when unusually large numbers of meteors strike — usually when the earth’s orbit intersects the orbit of a comet.

However, there are occasionally large meteor impacts, sometimes with destructive effect. The Chelyabinsk meteor hit Russia in 2013 over the Ural Mountains, and was determined to have been a previously unknown asteroid. It exploded in the atmosphere with an estimated energy of 400 to 500 kilotons, roughly the same as a small nuclear weapon, though the damage was limited to shattered windows.

The crash site of the Midwest meteor has not been identified, and the size of the meteor is not yet known, nor is the power of the explosion. But such spectacular meteor events are rare.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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