Little Rock, Ark. – A bright meteor bolted across the night sky around 7:00 p.m. in Maumelle. Multiple reports came in about a bright flash and loud noise across central Arkansas on Feb. 6.
The noise was likely a sonic boom associated with the meteor burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.
A sonic boom can happen before the shooting star slows below the speed of sound, which is 343m/s or ~700mph; however, atmospheric conditions can alter the speed of sound some. No rain or thunderstorms were present in Arkansas Monday evening.
A meteor is better known as a shooting star. It’s when a rocky object from space (called a meteoroid) burns up as it passes through Earth’s atmosphere. A fireball is a particularly bright shooting star, according to NASA.
A meteorite is when whatever is left of the shooting star makes it to the ground.
Often we don’t receive many reports of hearing shooting stars, but Feb. 6 was different. People from Dardanelle, Maumelle, Sheridan, Little Rock & Burns Park said they heard a loud noise sounding like a boom Monday evening.