Skyquake: Did You Hear a Loud Boom in Arlington Heights, Palatine Last Night?

Several people reported hearing a loud boom Sunday night, October 29, 2017, just before 10:00 p.m. The boom occurred about 9:53 p.m. CT. There was a loud, short-lasting boom heard by many people in Arlington Heights, and some people in Palatine. Area fire departments did not get any calls for any booms or explosions with any specific damage reported at any specific location.

There were no thunderstorms in the area and the wind report at O’Hare International Airport was SW 9 MPH with no gusts reported several hours before 9:51 p.m. The first gust reports after 9:51 p.m. were reported at 5:51 a.m. Monday at 20 MPH.

The boom did not sound like fireworks. Possibly, the boom was a sonic boom.

Loud booms with explanations have been connected to house explosions from natural gas leaks, jet engines with bird strikes and/or engine stalls, sonic booms, and earthquakes.

In Clintonville, Wisconsin, 180 miles northeast of Madison, Wisconsin, there was a series of booms heard, especially during the night in March 2012. The first boom was heard on Friday, March 23, 2012. The booms were explained by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which determined that small earthquakes caused the booms.

The USGS believed that shaking and strange sounds were the result of a swarm of several small earthquakes. Mobile monitors dispatched to the area after the first boom on Friday, March 23, 2012, detected a 1.5 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, March 27, 2012. The cause of the booms was explained by the type of unique bedrock that sits beneath the ground.

No earthquakes 2.5+ or greater have been reported recently near Chicagoland, according to the USGS.

A Magnitude 3.1 earthquake was reported this morning, Monday October 30, 2017 at 9:49 am. CT — about 11 miles WSW of Helena, Oklahoma.

A Magnitude 2.7 earthquake was reported early this morning, Monday October 30, 2017 at 12:39 a.m. CT — about 2.5 miles ESE of Barbourville, Kentucky.

Several smaller earthquakes ranging in Magnitude 1.9 to 2.1 have been reported during the past week near the Missouri-Tennessee border — an area south of the Illinois-Missouri border and southwest of the Illinois-Kentucky border.

Another known cause of booms is a rapid drop of temperature at ground level and below, when the rapid expansion of frozen ice and water in the ground causes a non-fire explosion underground. The rapid expansion of water with mini explosion is known as a cryoseism. The air temperature at O’Hare was 44°F at 9:51 p.m., so there couldn’t have been a noise or explosion caused by expansion of ice at ground level. Cryoseisms are also known as “Frost Quakes” even though temperatures associated with the explosions are much colder than temperatures that occur with the first frosts in the Fall season.

A meteor could produce a sonic boom, but no one reported any sightings of a meteor last night in Chicagoland. The Leonid meteor showers, responsible for some of the greatest meteor storms in history, peak in about three weeks (November 17-18, 2017)

METEORS PEAKING NEAR OCT 29, 2017

October 21, 2017 Orionids

November 4-5, 2017 South Taurids

November 11-12, 2017 North Taurids

November 17 or 18, 2017 Leonids

Skyquake is the catch-all term for mysterious booms that are unexplained. Skyquakes have been documented at least back to the early 1800s.

Many explanations could be confirmed by connection with the following, phenomena worldwide …

Falling meteors causing sonic booms

Gas escaping from vents in the Earth’s surface

Escaping bio gas from decaying vegetation trapped beneath the bottom of a lake

Explosive release of less volatile gases generated as limestone decays in underwater caves

Supersonic military aircraft or other supersonic flights

Earthquakes

Possible resonance from solar and/or earth magnetic activity inducing sounds

Volcanic eruptions

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