Police: Meteor was likely cause of 'explosion' in Saratoga County
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Police: Meteor was likely cause of 'explosion' in Saratoga County

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Police believe a meteor that entered the earth’s atmosphere somewhere over western Saratoga County was the cause of the noise and light that resulted in reports of an “explosion” late Sunday.

The county Sheriff’s Office reported 30 or so phone calls from concerned residents who heard a loud boom and saw a green light around 10:43 p.m. Sunday.

The calls came from residents of Edinburg, Providence, Galway, Greenfield, Milton and Ballston Spa, but the Sheriff’s Office said residents as far west as Broadalbin and south to Charlton later reported hearing it as well.

Witnesses reported a green light accompanying the noise.

Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said his officers spoke to a variety of agencies and concluded that a meteor exploding as it burned up in the atmosphere was probably the cause.

He said sheriff’s officers spoke with NASA and a number of scientists and learned that the phenomena matched the effects of a meteor burning up as it approaches land.

No one has found any physical evidence, but Zurlo said the rock could blow into tiny fragments as it hits the atmosphere that cannot be found on land.

Zurlo said NASA sent out an alert earlier in the month that three meteors were expected to hit the atmosphere of the continental United States late Sunday night.

“We’re pretty confident that’s what it was,” he said.

He said the unusual noise created quite a stir on social media.

“We’re still getting calls about it,” Zurlo said.

A number of other causes, such as a plane crash or utility problems, were investigated, and no evidence was found that they were responsible.

CBS 6 meteorologist Craig Adams posted on Facebook that the light and noise matched up with a phenomenon known as a “cryoseism,” which is a “sudden cracking action in frozen soil or rock saturated with ice.” It can cause loud, explosive-type noises depending on how deep the cracking is occurring.

Don Lehman covers police and court matters, Warren County government and the outdoors. He can be reached at 518-742-3224 or dlehman@poststar.com

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