NASA scientist confirms loud boom, flash in Grays Harbor County was bolide meteor

GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY, Wash. — The investigation of a loud boom, the ground shaking and a flash of light last week by Grays Harbor County Emergency Management has been confirmed as a meteor explosion.

KIRO 7 reached out to Marc Fries, Ph.D., cosmic dust curator for NASA, and he said the explosion off the coast of Washington was the biggest over the continental U.S. in 25 years.

Fries said it was not optically bright or dramatic, and others have been bigger and brighter.

What made the explosion even more momentous was the amount of material deposited on the ocean floor, appearing in weather radar data, Fries said.

The National Weather Service in Seattle didn’t report any severe weather event at the time of the reported occurrence.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Western Air Defense Sector said they didn’t have any problems either.

Fries said the explosion was 20 kilometers from the coast with meteor rocks that appeared to range in size from a speck of dust to a house brick.

He said the last bolide meteor that did any damage to homes and cars was in 2003, in a Chicago suburb, and only 24 meteorites have fallen in the area of the U.S. and Canada area since 1997.

Derek Hnilica sent KIRO 7 video of the flash in Hoqiuam.

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