Was meteor behind mysterious boom heard in Vt., Canada? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Was meteor behind mysterious boom heard in Vt., Canada?

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

It's an international mystery: what caused a loud boom to be heard on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border?

"I didn't actually hear anything, but I was on the computer doing some editing and I watched our two monitors start shaking violently," said Tyler Dumont of East Burke. "You know it's an older house, sometimes when a big truck drives by the whole place kind of shakes, but last night was different."

"Some people saw blue or green flashes, which are common with the kind of exploding fireballs. So, all the evidence that we have indicates it's similar to what happened in Russia in February," astronomer Bobby Farlice-Rubio said.

Months ago, amateur photographers captured spectacular images of a meteor crashing through the atmosphere over Central Russia. It exploded at a height twice that of Mount Everest, but still caused significant damage on the ground.

"The explosion can be enormous," Farlice-Rubio said. "The one over Russia in February exploded with a force of 50 Hiroshima atomic bombs' worth of energy."

Farlice-Rubio studies the night sky from the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium. He believes a smaller meteor is responsible for the sights and sounds Tuesday night-- mostly reported in Western Quebec-- and says until scientists unearth video or debris from the space rock they won't be able to confirm what it was or if it landed. But he expects that to happen by next week.

"We just live in a lucky time where we have so many observers," Farlice-Rubio said.

"The next time something happens hopefully I'm outside and not stuck in a dark studio, and hopefully I'll get to actually see it and hear it," Dumont said.

Astronomers say there will always be more opportunity to catch sight of a meteor, as video equipment becomes as common as the strikes, which bring 70 million pounds of material to Earth every year.

Astronomers say a meteor as small as a grain of sand can light up the night sky and most pose absolutely no risk to inhabitants. Russia's meteor-- the rare exception-- was the size of a bus.

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