It happened in Russia in 2013. Then it happened in Scotland in 2016. And once again, the value of a dashcam has been proven as motorists, among other inadvertent videographers, captured images of the meteor that exploded in the skies over Michigan on Tuesday night.

The meteor lit up the sky over parts of the U.S. Midwest and Canada, weather and geology agencies said, and then caused a powerful boom that rattled homes and onlookers. A meteor that explodes and breaks apart in the upper atmosphere is called a bolide.

It was seen in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Ontario at about 8 p.m. local time and registered a 2.0 magnitude tremor about 4 miles (7 km) east of Saint Clair Shores in Eastern Michigan, the United States Geological Survey said on its website.

Some who saw it diffused through overcast skies thought it was thunder and lightning, while others where the skies were clearer saw the fireball. The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed it was not a meteorological event.

"The NWS can confirm the flash and boom was NOT thunder or lightning, but instead a likely meteor," the NWS in Detroit said on Twitter.

The meteor sighting lit up social media with people posting videos and reaction.

"I can't believe there was a Meteor! It shook our house and made a large bang! We thought someone hit our house," Twitter user Jennifer Wilson said in a post.

In a month where a false alarm of an incoming intercontinental ballistic missile terrified the residents of Hawaii, some who saw the meteor had more ominous thoughts.

"I thought for sure I was either seeing the alien invasion or the apocalypse. It's awesome in retrospect, freaky ... in real time," said a Twitter user who goes by the name Crash.

Material from Reuters was used in this report.

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