Get AccuWeather alerts right in your browser!
Enable Notifications


Loud Noise Last Week was a Sonic Boom from a Meteor

By travel
5/16/2011, 4:22:36 AM facebook fanpage member Daniel Vogler pointed this out to me a few days ago. Imagine being woken up by this sound, which can be read about by clicking here.

"A sonic boom is pressure wave, and it mimics an explosion," Joe Zawodny, a senior research scientist at NASA Langley Research Center told Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site of "They can be quite forceful, and can definitely rattle walls and windows."

Several worried people called 911 and reported a loud noise that rattled their screen doors and windows last Tuesday evening. One woman told the local television station, WAVY, that it felt like an earthquake.

Sonic booms from meteors are not a rare event, occurring a dozen times a year over the U.S. This rock was most likely a remnant of a meteor shower associated with Halley's Comet that peaked on May 6, the eta Aquarid meteor shower.

Being close to many military bases, a sonic boom from a jet was a possibility. After doing a little research, Zawodny ruled out that possibility.


Please join the Astronomy fanpage by clicking here. You can leave your comments there, as well, and be part of a community where discussions on this or any other astronomy subject take place. We are now over 1,400 likes on Facebook, and with your help we will get to 2,000 soon. Tell your friends about this site and blog and weigh in on some exciting issues. We encourage open discussion and will never criticize any idea, and no negative conversation will be allowed.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.