The meteor was seen traveling northeast across 33 miles – from the Mt Mansfield forest to Beach Hill in Orleans County south of Newport, the agency said.
The NASA Meteor Watch said the object was most likely part of an asteroid, while the tremors reported by eyewitnesses were caused by the pressure difference between the front and back of the object.
“The space rock fragmented violently, resulting in a pressure wave that shook the buildings and emitted the sound that those close to the path could hear,” the agency said. “This pressure wave can also be associated with the Earth, causing slight ‘jolts’ that can be captured by seismic instruments in the area.”
Based on measurements of infrasound, which are low-frequency sounds that can travel long distances, the agency was able to measure a fireball that weighs about 10 pounds and is about six inches in diameter.
The agency called it “a cute little firecracker, provided by Mother Nature.”