Sonic boom, not earthquake, caused jolt felt widely across SoCal, expert says

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Friday, July 9, 2021
Jolt felt across SoCal attributed to sonic boom, expert says
A jolt that was felt across the Southland Friday morning is being attributed to a sonic boom, earthquake expert Dr. Lucy Jones tells Eyewitness News.

A jolt that was felt across the Southland Friday morning is being attributed to a sonic boom, renowned seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones tells Eyewitness News.

Around 9:20 a.m., ABC7 received several calls from viewers wondering whether the shaking was from an earthquake.

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Dr. Jones confirmed seismograms that show the Earth didn't move.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson said the rattling most likely came from a military aircraft.

There were no immediate reports or damage or injuries.

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NASA describes a sonic boom as "the thunder-like noise a person on the ground hears when an aircraft or other type of aerospace vehicle flies overhead faster than the speed of sound or supersonic."

As NASA puts its, "Air reacts like a fluid to supersonic objects."

NASA says as objects travel through the air, the air molecules are pushed aside "with great force and this forms a shock wave much like a boat creates a bow wave. The bigger and heavier the aircraft, the more air it displaces."

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