​California Fireball Flash Seen Over Sky In San Francisco

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February 18, 2013
Also: Asteroid, California, California Fireball, Fireball, Russia

California residents report a fireball in the sky over San Francisco, which astronomers describe as a sporadic meteor that has no connection to the asteroid that landed in Russia.

The fireball was first reported by witnesses who say they saw a bright flash of light in Santa Rosa and seen as far south as San Jose and Morgan Hill. It appeared to be bright green and turned yellow as it descended. There have been no reports of damage following the incident.

Astronomer Gerald McKeegan told NBC that the fireball was probably a “sporadic meteor.” He added that sporadic meteors impact the Earth several times a day and can bring up to 15,000 tons of space debris per year to Earth.

No connections have been made between the California fireball and the meteorite that struck Russia on Friday or the asteroid that passed within 17,200 miles of Earth.

The one that struck Russia produced a sonic boom that shattered glass and collapsed roofs. The unexpected occurrence resulted in more than 1,000 reports of injuries in rural Siberia.

Researchers have stated that preliminary findings indicate the space rock weighed around 10 tons and descended over Russia’s Ural Mountains on Friday.

“There was panic. People had no idea what was happening. Everyone was going around to people’s houses to check if they were OK,” Sergey Hametov said in a statement.

“We saw a big burst of light then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud thundering sound,” he added.

The meteor entered the Earth’s atmosphere near the area of Chelyabinsk and was traveling at more than 33,0000 mph before disintegrating in the lower stratosphere, about 25 miles up, according to a statement released by The Russian Academy of Sciences.