Hours after the meteor, another rare sight showed up in the night sky between 2am and 5am. It turned ordinary lights into pillars of color. The plate-like ice crystals suspended in the air near the ground created the rare sight in northwest Ohio. Light pillars need very cold temperatures.
We had that as well, the temperature dropped to 1-degree early Wednesday. Light pillars are also called “false auroras” because from a distance they can look like the northern lights. They were last observed in northwest Ohio in 2015 south and east of Toledo.
Of course this happened in the same night as the observed fireball and sonic boom. The USGS confirms this was a meteor. The American Meteor Society says this was a “slow moving” fireball that hit earth’s atmosphere at 28,000 miles per hour around 8:08pm Tuesday.
According to them, this fireball was likely a meteorite that broke up and hit the ground in several small pieces (but no confirmation as of now). The fireball was visible from 7 states, and in Canada. The sonic boom was heard and felt in our area, southeast Michigan, and in Ontario. The shaking from that sonic blast even registered as a 2.0 on the Richter Scale which was centered just north of Detroit, MI.
Tuesday night also brought us a new moon and completely dark sky. While it was a cosmic coincidence that all of these things occurred on the same night, it does make it the strangest night observed in years across northwest Ohio.