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The loud boom heard throughout southern Westchester early yesterday morning might have been a meteor crashing through the atmosphere at thousands of miles per hour.

What people said sounded like an explosion, thunderclap or a sonic boom was heard around 12:24 a.m. People from Scarsdale, Mount Vernon, Yonkers, Tuckahoe, Eastchester and Bronxville contacted The Journal News or police.

Though many people heard the window-rattling boom, solid explanations have been harder to come by.

But Liz Holland, who lives atop a ridge in Mount Kisco, said she happened to be looking out a south window around 12:30 a.m. and saw on the horizon a brilliant yellow object streaking through the sky in a downward arc.

"It was pretty bright," she said. "It wasn't huge, but bigger than a shooting star, like a thick piece of string."

She said she made a wish, and had been telling friends about it since.

Bill Thys of the Rockland Astronomy Club wasn't watching the skies at the time.

"Damnit, I wish I was," he said today, adding that the description sounded like a meteor.

"Yellow's fairly typical," he said of a fireball, with different colors following in the train.

He said there was a very good chance it could account for the sonic boom because, "certainly, it was traveling fast enough."

A sonic boom occurs when a something passes above the speed of sound - 761 mph. Thys said a meteorite's relative speed hitting Earth's atmosphere - at that time of night with a tangential trajectory - would have measured in the thousands of miles per hour.

If you saw anything unusual that night, please call The Journal News at 914... or e-mail [email protected]

Read more about this story tomorrow in The Journal News.