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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fireball blazes across Northern California horizon less than a day after massive meteor strike...

Via DM

A sudden fireball was spotted blazing across the Northern California sky less than 24 hours after the explosive meteor that passed over Russia injured more than 1,000 people on Friday.

The fireball, reportedly seen from as far north as Fairfield to as far south as Gilroy, as well as in Sacramento, Newark and Walnut Creek, was captured on video by one observer at around 7.45pm last night.

It was bluish in color and appeared to be heading straight to the ground, according to an NBC Bay Area reporter.

‘I saw that meteor/fireball over Solano County after spending the day reporting on asteroids and fireballs,’ said NBC reporter Jodi Hernandez.

Another viewer told the local news outlet that the fireball was a bright green when it first appeared and then turned to a bright yellow as it faded.

‘It was awesome!’ she said.

Meteors are pieces of rock and metal from outer space that fall to Earth and burn up as they pass through the Earth’s atmosphere.

The bright flashes of light are caused by the burning.

At around 2.30pm EST on Friday, a meteor passed over Siberia and exploded with the force of 20 atomic bombs. Most of the injuries were caused by flying glass, local officials said.

Marina Moskvicheva, Chelyabinsk health chief, told the Russian news agency Interfax that 985 people in her city asked for medical help and 43 were hospitalized.

It was the largest recorded meteor strike in more than a century and occurred hours before a 150-foot asteroid passed within about 17,000 miles (28,000 kilometers) of Earth.

Planetary scientists said there were no connections between the meteor that passed over Siberia and the larger asteroid.

It is unknown if the fireball spotted in California had any connection to the asteroid.

Gerald McKeegan, a local astronomer in California, told NBC that based on accounts he believes that the fireball spotted in northern part of the state was a ‘sporadic meteor,’ which he said can happen several times a day.

McKeegan said that sporadic meteors bring as much as 15,000 tons of space debris to Earth each year.

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