Meteor eyed as cause of Pittsburgh-area boom, shaking ground

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In this 30 second cameras exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021, in Spruce Knob, West Virginia. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)

The National Weather Service says an exploding meteor is likely the cause of a loud boom and shaking ground reported on New Year’s Day across portions of suburban Pittsburgh.

Allegheny County officials said in a 1 p.m. Saturday Twitter post that county 911 officials had received reports from South Hills and other areas about the disturbance. County officials said they had confirmed that there was no seismic activity and no thunder and lightning.

The Tribune-Review reports that National Weather Service meteorologist Shannon Hefferan said satellite data recorded a flash over Washington County shortly before 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

The weather service theorizes that it was caused by a meteor “falling through the atmosphere.”

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