On Saturday morning, a massive boom startled residents of Salt Lake City, Utah and beyond. Turned out, it was a meteor that tore across the sky and exploded. It was likely a remnant of the Perseid meteor shower that peaked the day prior. According to Purdue University scientists, "when a meteor comes hurtling toward Earth, the high-pressure air in front of it seeps into its pores and cracks, pushing the body of the meteor apart and causing it to explode." From New York Times:
Mike Hankey, operations manager for the American Meteor Society, said there had been more than a dozen reports to the organization confirming fireball sightings.
Mr. Hankey said that several people had reported seeing the meteor and then a "delayed" boom, which happens when the object "penetrates deep into the atmosphere."
"If the object is large enough, it will get close enough to the surface to make this sound," Mr. Hankey said. "It is like a sonic boom in some cases; others can witness an air blast or explosion in the air."
Since the meteor registered on the lightning map, Mr. Hankey said it was "significantly" bright. He added that it was possible, based on the delayed booms, that the meteor landed on the ground.