Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Night Became Day In Detroit As Meteor Lit Up Sky


In Michigan last night just after 8 o'clock, something strange happened.

KELSEY WILCOX: It shook my entire house. I thought that a large piece of furniture fell.

RACHEL ROSINSKI: So we thought maybe we're getting, like, a weird thunderstorm or something.

CHARLENE GRINGLAS: And I saw a really bright flash of light that went through the sky.

KELLY: That last voice is Charlene Gringlas, mom of our producer Sam. We also heard Kelsey Wilcox and Rachel Rosinski.


People freaked out. Around the state, they called 911. They called local TV stations.


UNIDENTIFIED NEWSCASTER: Breaking news right now - thousands saw it, heard it and even felt it.

MCEVERS: The U.S. Geological Survey soon confirmed it was a meteor.

KELLY: NASA says it was moving at 28,000 miles per hour. WXYZ meteorologist Kevin Jeanes was on duty when the reports started coming in, and he jumped into teaching mode about falling chunks of matter from outer space.


KEVIN JEANES: The friction of the Earth's atmosphere heats it up. You see the bright glow, the bright light and the flash as it kind of burns up and falls apart. And then the sound you see is actually the sonic boom. So it's traveling faster than the speed of sound.

MCEVERS: Joseph Guinn was making a Jimmy John's delivery when it happened.

JOSEPH GUINN: It lit up my whole truck. And my truck actually shook. I said, man, what could that be?

MCEVERS: Even though meteors aren't that rare, people are still really into it.

MARIAH DAVITA: I call myself a rockhound.

KELLY: That's rockhound Mariah Davita. She loves geology.

DAVITA: This is just, like, once-in-a-lifetime thing. You don't ever get a direct hit in your backyard.

KELLY: And so she's been out today, heavy duty magnet in hand, to see if she can find a piece of that meteorite.

DAVITA: I am walking through a wide-open field. I'm just basically going up and down in little loops, trying to scour every footstep.

MCEVERS: Mariah says if she happens to find something, she will give it to scientists with one request - that she gets to keep a little piece.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE FUNK ARK'S "HORCHATA") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.