It looks like Russia isn’t the only place getting some astronomical action. Within the same day that a meteor exploded over Russia and injured around 1200 people, folks over in Northern California spotted a ‘meteor’ zipping across the sky. The spectacle was caught on video by a couple of people driving in the San Francisco area. Not too long after the video was posted, many others took to social media to announce their sighting of the ‘meteor’ as well.
But unfortunately, to rain on everyone’s parade, Mike Hankey, Operations Manager for the American Meteor Society at Pennsylvania State University, stated that what the Californian’s saw wasn’t a meteor, but rather just a fireball. He says, “Fireballs happen every single night, all around the world,” downplaying everyone’s enthusiasm. Hankey also states that the excitement from the Russian meteor that happened earlier had people more attentive to the things happening in the sky.
While it’s true that fireballs do occur every night, it’s still exciting to see the “shooting star” that we hear about in fantasies and children’s books. And while Hankey downplays the excitement of the Calfornia Fireball and labels it as commonplace, Jonathan Braidman, Hankey’s colleague, says,”This is a very common occurence. What is uncommon is that it’s so close to where people are living.”.
The people in California should be thankful that the fireball they witnessed wasn’t as dangerous as the meteor in Russia. The meteor, which injured 1200 people, also shattered windows from 4,000 buildings. Mikhail Yurevich, governor of Chelyabinsk, says that the damage amounted to the power of 20 atomic bombs, and also caused about $33 million worth of damage. So California, it looks like you dodge a bullet there.
[via International Business Times]