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NWS official suspects meteor struck Brainerd area

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After Brainerd residents reported seeing flashes of light in the night sky, hearing loud booms and feeling their houses shake, an official at the National Weather Service in Duluth suspects a meteor struck the area Friday night.

“There’s no other explanation,” meteorologist Kevin Kraujalis told the Brainerd Dispatch.

Reported meteor sightings in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota the night before, and witness accounts in Brainerd pretty well describe what a meteor would look and feel like, Kraujalis said.

The rattling of windows may have been caused by a sonic boom -- when an object travels faster than the speed of sound, or 761 mph.

Daniel Shire of Brainerd told the newspaper that he thought something had blown up over his house. Several other residents who heard and felt the same thing called 911.

Unless a piece of the rock is found, official confirmation that the events were a result of a meteor might never be confirmed.

Kraujalis told the Dispatch that a meteor in northern Minnesota would be particularly unusual as no similar events have been reported in the area in recent years.

In June, more than 100 miles south of Brainerd in Sibley County, a farmer found what he thought was a huge rock sticking out of the ground. Experts at the University of Minnesota confirmed the 33-pound hunk of metal was a meteorite.

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