PHOENIX (AP) — An expert in meteorites says a bright flashing light and loud boom over the skies in metro Phoenix looks like a single meteor burning up as it entered the Earth's atmosphere at thousands of miles per hour.
Radar footage shows that meteorites — black rocks ranging in size from a pea to a grapefruit — may have fallen to the ground early Thursday near the eastern Arizona community of Cibecue, said Laurence Garvie, curator of the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University.
"That's what everyone will rush out there to look at," Garvie said.
Garvie said the flashing light across the sky likely wasn't a meteor shower, but rather a random piece of space rock that intersected with the orbit of the Earth.
Video footage shows the skies went from dark to instantly bright — and then grew even brighter.
It produced a loud boom that awoke people who were sleeping.
The flash in the sky finally decreased in intensity and fizzled out.
Vicky Schmid of Snowflake, Arizona, said she was asleep in bed when she and her dogs were awoken by a loud noise.
"I thought somebody was breaking into the house," she said.
She checked her front door camera from an app on her phone and saw video showing an intense burst of light flashing across the sky.
"The funny thing was the (video) clip said that at 3:56 a.m. a visitor was detected," she said.