Meteor spotted in Chicago area; AMS flooded with calls

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The United States Geological Survey confirmed the meteor that many spotted in the Chicago area Tuesday night. (WLS)

The United States Geological Survey confirmed the meteor that many spotted in the Chicago area Tuesday night.

The meteor happened at around 7:10 p.m., according to USGS. It also caused a magnitude 2 earthquake.

"You can have these echoing blasts in the nighttime sky," said Astronomer Mark Hammergren. "And that mass of air pushing down on a wide section of earth is going to cause it to reverberate and produce a signature much like an earthquake."

The asteroid that slammed into Earth's atmosphere was probably traveling at 30,000 mph, and only about 1 to 2 feet wide.

The American Meteor Society received about 200 reports of a "fireball meteor" seen over Illinois and other states.

Many posted on social media after having heard and seen what they described as a meteor in the sky.


People in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, and Pennsylvania also reported seeing the meteor.

Many may remember the meteor that streaked across the Wisconsin sky last February. That one was about 3 feet wide. It broke apart and landed in Michigan.

Although it is rare, Chicago has seen a meteorite recently. The Alder Planetarium has on display the meteorite that crashed into a home in Olympia Fields in 2003, known as the Park Forest Meteor. It was estimated to be about 6 feet wide as it broke up in Earth's atmosphere.

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