NASA: Fireball Seen Over Arizona Was An Asteroid

By Katherine Fritcke
Published: Thursday, June 2, 2016 - 8:26am
Updated: Friday, June 3, 2016 - 9:05am
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Many Phoenix residents woke up to a scary boom and bright flash Thursday morning. But fortunately, or unfortunately — depending who you ask — the sky wasn't falling nor was an alien invasion underway.

Just before 4 a.m., the sky lit up and then what looked like a giant fireball exploded over the Salt River Indian Reservation. A bright flash of light and booming sound prompted calls to 911 and left many asking questions.

NASA confirmed Thursday afteroon that an asteroid about 10 feet wide streaked across the sky east of Payson above the Tonto National Forest.  Officials estimate that the asteroid was traveling more than 40,000 mph. 

The event lasted less than a minute, before the sky turned dark again.

Earlier in the day, the Arizona Geological Survey said their seismic network didn't pick up any impacts but a representative later said their seismometer near Payson did indeed pick up the asteroid around 4 a.m.

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Associated Press contributed to this report.

Editor's Note: This story has been clarified to show the Arizona Geological Survey did pick up asteroid activity on their seismometer.

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