Theories swarmed the Internet: An earthquake on Sunday morning caused a prolonged boom in New Hampshire and at least one neighboring state.
Some speculated that the enigmatic disturbance may have been the sound of an aircraft breaking the sound barrier. Both scenarios were quickly discounted.
Now some meteorologists think they may explain the mystery.
Satellite imagery suggests a meteor may have exploded in New Hampshire’s atmosphere, according to meteorologists who say the explanation is not far off.
This time of year, he pointed out, is known for intense meteor showers: the Draconids that peaked two days earlier and the Orionids that continued until November. According to the American Meteor Society, fireballs that explode in a bright terminal flash, often with visible fragmentation, are known as boloids.
“Certainly, there was a little blip around the time people started calling and reporting about the sound,” said Greg Cornwell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, at the New Hampshire forecast office. ” Interview on Tuesday.
Mr Cornwell said the blip was detected by a geostationary weather satellite, known as GOES-16, used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Aeronautical and Space Administration. He and his colleagues reviewed satellite feeds from Sunday morning. On it, a blue dot shone over southern New Hampshire at about 11:21 a.m.
“It wasn’t until the next morning that we were like, ‘Okay, I wonder what the reason was? They said. “There was a lot of discussion with the public.”
The satellite has an advanced system for detecting lightning, but there were no thunderstorms in the area on Sunday morning, Mr Cornwell said.
“There have now been cases where fireballs or bolides from such an explosion would lead to a false positive,” he said. “It appeared in the data, and it’s kind of a hunch.”
Doug Chappelle, a mechanical engineer from Hillsboro, NH, which is about 25 miles west of Concord, NH, said in an interview Tuesday that he was hiking with his family in Fox Forest when he heard the boom.
“I’m a Cold War kid,” said Mr. Chappell. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I found out that Boston and New York have been devastated by H-bombs.”
Mr Chappell said his family lived in Florida and was used to hearing the sound of spacecraft launching and returning to Earth. What he experienced on Sunday – like the extended rumble captured in home security camera footage provided by Mr. Chappell – was somewhat different.
“It went on too long to be a sonic boom signature,” said Mr. Chappell.
Paul D., a strategic communications administrator at the New Hampshire Department of Safety. Raymond Jr. said in an email on Tuesday that agency partners at Weather Service were eyeing a meteor as the source of the disturbance and were investigating.
NASA did not immediately comment on Tuesday.
Throughout the Northeast, there have been no earthquakes in the past seven days, according to the National Earthquake Information Center, which is part of the US Geological Survey and maintains a map of seismic events.
A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that the agency had no reports of any aircraft noise in the area, while local officials have said the sound did not come from a military aircraft.
mike vankum, a meteorologist for the television station WCVB, an ABC affiliate for Boston, came to a conclusion similar to weather service forecasters that a meteor explosion could possibly have caused the surge.
“Now to get that sonic boom would have to explode 30 miles or less,” Vankum said during a broadcast on Monday. “And it can take a minute and a half to four minutes to get that rumble through that kind of work. But that’s probably what you were hearing.”