Did June 3rd Puget Sound
Meteor Cause Micro Quake?
By Michael Goodspeed
The majority of news accounts of the June 3rd meteor over Washington state near Puget Sound have described the meteor as approximately between the size of a "baseball" and a "computer monitor.' I am not a scientist, so I am genuinely curious if a baseball-sized or monitor-sized meteor can cause a "micro-earthquake," measuring 1.6 on the richter scale.
I have just received this information from a gentleman named Charles, which seems to indicate that at the estimated time of the meteor sighting (2:40 AM PST), a 1.6 quake was registered by the Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network.
Following this information, I will share with you an anecdotal account I have received from a woman in Eugene, OR, that is worthy of examination.
From Charles' email:
Flashes, booms reported over western Washington state; officials say meteor possible source
Associated Press
SEATTLE - Bright flashes and sharp booms were reported in the skies over the Puget Sound area early Thursday, and experts said a meteor or falling "space junk" may have been the source.
Nothing unusual was detected on National Weather Service radar, and authorities also ruled out aircraft problems or military flight tests.
Toby Smith, a University of Washington astronomy lecturer who specializes in meteorites, said scientists were looking into the cause of the skybursts reported over a wide area about 2:40 a.m.
Also, at the same time there was a reported earth tremor in the Washington Puget Sound region at 2:39:57 AM. (See report below)
2004 June 3 09:39:57 UTC
Preliminary Earthquake Report
Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network
A micro earthquake occurred at 09:39:57 (UTC) on Thursday, June 3, 2004. The magnitude 1.6 event has been located in the PUGET SOUND REGION, WASHINGTON. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)
Thursday, June 3, 2004 at 09:39:57 (UTC)
= Coordinated Universal Time
Thursday, June 3, 2004 at 2:39:57 AM
= local time at epicenter
47.972°N, 121.978°W
43.4 km (27.0 miles) set by location program
4 km (2 miles) NNE (19°) from Three Lakes, WA
4 km (3 miles) WSW (256°) from Lake Roesiger, WA
6 km (4 miles) ESE (119°) from Machias, WA
12 km (8 miles) S (183°) from Granite Falls, WA
44 km (27 miles) NNE (18°) from Bellevue, WA
47 km (29 miles) NE (35°) from Seattle, WA
Location Uncertainty
Error estimate not available
Nst= 45, Nph= 45, Dmin=17 km, Rmss=0.69 sec, Gp= 86°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=1
Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network
Event ID
I have yet to see any news report which has drawn a connection to these two events.
Now here is the email I received from "Ann," a resident of Eugene, OR, describing what she saw on the morning of June 3rd, 2004:
The early morning of June 3rd I was taking a friend to the airport in Eugene, OR and we saw the sky-flash (2:45am)above WA --- yes, that far away. The explanation was .... a computer sized meteor. (Ooookay)
I've been a skywatcher since childhood and let me tell you, no meteor makes that kind of skyflash. (go to KOMO news for videos --- they should be archived. Or NWCableNews).
If a small meteor made that kind of flash, then why didn't the real meteors that have been falling make the same kind of flashes?
My concern that the media in this country is, at the very least, not giving proper attention to this cosmic activity is growing deeper by the hour.
Michael Goodspeed



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