BRAINERD, Minn. – Residents in the Brainerd lakes area reported seeing flashes of light streaking across the sky and hearing a boom that rattled homes and buildings on Friday, and meteorologists say the reports are consistent with a meteor event.
The reports started flowing in to authorities on Friday between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., the Brainerd Dispatch reported. Some residents said they saw a turquoise streak light up the sky, and others say a bright light illuminated their homes, even darkened rooms where the drapes were closed.
There’s been no confirmation of a meteor, said Kevin Kraujalis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. However, the reports seem consistent with what happens when a meteor enters the atmosphere, he said.
“There’s no other explanation,” Kraujalis said. He added that there were reports of meteor sightings the previous night in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.
It’s possible there will never be confirmation. If there were a meteor, it may have burned up completely in the atmosphere. If it broke into pieces, the fragments might never be found, particularly since the sightings occurred in a rural area that’s not densely populated.
One factor in favor of finding it, though, is that there’s a foot of snow on the ground, Kraujalis said Monday.
“There’d probably be some sort of indentation in the snow,” he said. But if fragments aren’t found before the snow melts they might end up nestled among other stones and may or may not be distinguishable.
Melissa Hanson and her husband were driving on Highway 25 when a bright turquoise light flashed across the sky and was visible for about four seconds.
“I had to ask my husband to slap me because I could not believe what I had just seen,” she said.
Around the area, residents called police to report a loud boom that shook their homes and rattled their windows.
In East Gull Lake, Jennie Kavanaugh and her husband were in bed with the drapes closed when a flash lit up the inside of their home. A few seconds later they heard a boom.
“We thought it must have been someone setting off fireworks,” she said. “We didn’t hear or see anything after that, but it was crazy.”
Meteors sometimes cause sonic booms if they’re traveling faster than the speed of sound.