The Geminid Meteor Shower begins Thursday, but residents of Tucson, Ariz., got a preview Wednesday night as a meteor streaked through the sky and exploded. The shock wave rattled windows and scared local residents, who contacted local media and took to the Internet to inquire about "something suspicious."
"My wife and I and my son were sitting in the house, and we felt this absolutely tremendous explosion," Tucson resident Tony Kubrak told KGUN9-TV. "I mean, it shook the windows, it shook everything in the house. I stepped outside, and had to be no more than 3 minutes later after I hear all of this, and I see this tremendous, white, bright light in the western sky. And it was just ... it was absolutely enormous, I couldn't believe it."
Here's dashboard cam video of the meteor, which, granted, does not look quite as impressive here, but that's probably more due to the angle than anything else:
The Geminid Meteor Shower will be visible all over the world until early next week, and NASA is predicting a particularly striking show. The meteors will be most visible each day from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. ET.
As NASA notes, the Geminid meteor shower is caused by debris flying off an enormous rock, 3200 Phaethon. The orbit of the asteroid, which is more than 5 kilometers in average diameter, runs closer to the sun than any other named asteroid.