The first boom of 2017 was recorded in Connecticut on January 3. Since then there has been a steady stream of reports from all corners of the globe about other mysterious noises. And many of them have left scientists and meteorologists baffled. There just doesn’t seem to be a satisfactory explanation for the noises.
A number of theories have been discounted, though. In Denver, CBS meteorologist Chris Spears wondered if the continuing Leonid meteor shower might have something to do with the loud sounds. The shower happens when Earth passes through the debris trail from a comet known as Tempel-Tuttle. They’re called the Leonids because they look like they’re coming from the constellation Leo.
But after Spears spoke to weather watcher and astronomy expert Ron Hranac, it became clear that that couldn’t be the case. The Leonid meteors are incredibly small, most of them no larger than the size of a pea. While they do burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere, leaving bright trails behind them in the process, they simply don’t have enough mass to impact on the ground. So what else could explain the odd sounds?