The Michigan Engineer News Center

Meteor over Michigan: How dangerous are space hazards like bolides?

Around 8 pm on Jan. 16, people across Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio witnessed a meteor exploding in Earth's atmosphere. | Short Read

Around 8 pm on Jan. 16, people across Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio witnessed a meteor exploding in Earth’s atmosphere, also known as a bolide.

“This was probably a rock of only a few feet in diameter. Dark-colored space rocks, aka asteroids, of that size are essentially invisible against the blackness of outer space” says Mike Liemohn.

University of Michigan Professor Mike Liemohn, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, teaches about hazards from space in Introduction to Rocket Science.

“They estimate that this bolide created a shaking equivalent to a 2.0 magnitude earthquake. If it had been a slightly bigger rock, then it would have broken windows.”

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BepiColombo approaching Mercury. Credit: European Space Agency

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