Puget Sound meteor
© YouTube/Bioluminous Commercial Photography (screen capture)
An apparent exploding meteor made for an incredible sight... and sound across parts of the Puget Sound region in Washington state Wednesday evening.

Several reports into the American Meteor Society indicated a brilliant white and colorful object streaked across the skies around 7 p.m. or so, culminating in a flash and then after a few minutes' delay, a massive explosion.

"Huge boom that shook the house," reported one witness in Brier. "It was the loudest boom I've ever heard."

A video from Scott Story with Bioluminous.com shows the streak as seen from a home surveillance camera, followed by the explosion about three minutes later:

Reports also came in from Lake Stevens, Anacortes, Kingston, Bremerton and Bainbridge Island.

"The more I read the more inclined I am to believe this was a fireball (which is a meteor that is larger and brighter than normal)," said Bob Lunsford with the American Meteor Society. "I'm certain now that this was a meteoric event."

Fireballs can spectacularly explode when they burn up in Earth's atmosphere. Most meteors' explosions are heard about a minute or two after they explode due to the time it takes the sound to reach the Earth's surface, Lunsford said. Sound travels at 767 mph in standard atmosphere conditions, indicating this fireball exploded some 35 miles away.

"If this was larger than normal then the sound could have originated from a higher altitude. So a delay of 3 minutes is entirely possible," Lunsford said. "Meteors become visible at a height of around 50 miles so your estimate is well within that range."

Also collaborating the exploding meteor theory: A large meteor shower is indeed underway this week. The annual Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower peaked early Wednesday morning, according to Space.com, but lasts a few weeks. It's caused when the Earth's orbit takes it through the remnants of Halley's Comet.