NASA expert: Meteorite pieces likely fell in Hamburg from radar data

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Screen capture from David Barker video

Thousands of people in seven states and Canada saw something light up the sky Tuesday night. The meteor was so powerful some felt the earth move -- but no one knew pieces of it likely broke off and landed until the next day.

"There is a town up there, the township of Hamburg I believe it is called, and there are pieces that run along the road that runs through Hamburg, according to Doppler weather radar," said NASA's Bill Cooke. 

Bill Cooke, from NASA's meteoroid environments office, FaceTimed us from Texas but he is well aware of Michigan's fire ball.

NASA's trajectory map of the meteor had it at 6 feet wide and moving at 28,000 miles per hour. Cooke says the space rock penetrated deep into the atmosphere before it broke apart.

Many people also didn't realize that meteorites are valuable.

"Those are more expensive than gold," Cook said.

As soon as people heard, the hunt began, especially in Hamburg Township.

Stephanie Hanchak said it was too cold to search.

"That's what I heard on all the Mom to Moms in Livingston, it landed somewhere," Hanchak said. "There were conversations they were going to take a look at it, I'm not sure.

"I don't care if it is worth more than gold to me it is 7 degrees."

The Smiths who live in Hamburg Township plan to head out on their search on their frozen lake.

"It would be worth looking for, I will tell you that," said Steve Smith.

Someone posted pictures on the FOX 2 Facebook page of what they thought were pieces of a meteor. We showed the expert and the verdict is --

"That is not a meteorite," Cooke said. "That is a conglomerate, an earth conglomerate not a meteorite."

Cooke says although a meteor crashes through the atmosphere somewhere on this earth about once a month, he says it is rare that is passed over a big city at night where it can be vividly seen.

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It's also rare to also find a piece considered valuable. Some meteorites are worth just a few bucks.

"My bet it is going to be a common stony meteorite which is 90 percent of meteorites," Cooke said. "But you never know it could be something really cool."

For more information on how to identify a meteorite, go to