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Strange 'boom' over Utah baffles experts

Claire Reid

| Last updated 

Strange 'boom' over Utah baffles experts

Featured Image Credit: Nick Fox / Alamy / Twitter / @nwssaltlakecity

Residents of Utah in the US have been left baffled after hearing a loud boom on Saturday morning, 13 August.

The sound was heard shortly after 8.30am, alongside reports that some homes shook because of it. 

Officials have said it was not an earthquake or caused by the the state's military installations. 


In a post on Twitter, University of Utah Seismograph Stations said: "We've received many reports of people feeling or hearing a 'boom' ~8:32 am. We can confirm that it was not an earthquake.” 


And the Utah National Guard wrote: “The UTNG can confirm that the “large boom” heard this morning was NOT from any military training at Camp Williams.”

Posting on Facebook, one resident in South Salt Lake, wrote: “I thought I heard something fall in the house. I have since searched the house top to bottom and the only thing I’ve found was one slat from our wooden fence that had fallen, so that’s a relief.


“It did sound similar to sonic booms I’ve heard before, followed by a short incident of a sound similar to low rolling thunder. 

“This rumbling noise that followed the boom was maybe on 3-4 seconds.”

Another resident told Fox 13: “I have experienced many earthquakes. 


"So because everything shakes, in the house, the walls, definitely it was not that case here – just a big sound."

So far, the most likely theory is that the noise was caused by a meteor. Satellite lightning detection picked up what appeared to a meteor trail over two counties in northern Utah at around 8.31am – moments before the boom was heard. 

In a tweet, the National Weather Service said: “Bolstering the meteor theory for this morning's #boom in #Utah, the two reddish pixels shown over Davis and Morgan counties are from the GOES-17 Lightning Mapper, but not associated with evidence of thunderstorm activity in satellite or radar. Likely the meteor trail/flash."


In a follow up tweet, the National Weather Service said: "In addition to satellite lightning detection picking up on the flash/tail, we've now got video confirmation of the meteor heard across northern Utah, southern Idaho and elsewhere this morning.”

Robert Lunsford from the American Meteor Society said it’s uncommon to hear the noise a meteor creates, but suggested that this particularly meteor may have been bigger than average. 

He told Fox: “Your normal meteor is only the size of a pea or a small pebble. This particular object was probably the size of a beachball.”

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Topics: News, US News, Weird

Claire Reid
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