On heels of Russia meteor explosion, San Francisco Bay area residents report fireball sighting

February 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Sci-Tech

SAN FRANCISCO – Hours after a meteor exploded over Russia and injured more than 1,000 people and an asteroid passed relatively close to Earth, residents in California reported seeing an unusual flash of light over the San Francisco Bay area that left many startled and thrilled.

Based on reports, the light streaking in the Northern California sky was a sporadic meteor, or fireball, and not a major event, said Mike Hankey, operations manager for the American Meteor Society at Pennsylvania State University. The group recorded at least 35 reports of the event, he said.

“Fireballs happen every single night, all around the world,” he said.

Experts say smaller meteorites hit Earth five to 10 times a year but large meteors, such as the one that streaked over Chelyabinsk, Russia, are much rarer. Another meteor landed in the Bay Area in October and caused a loud sonic boom.

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