Sunday, April 22, 2012

Meteor Fireball Roars Across California and Nevada, Picture

Explosion Rattles California, Nevada Fireball Breaks up Over Sierra Nevada

Large parts of Nevada and California experienced a loud explosion on Sunday morning as a result of a meteor.

The sound of the explosion around 8am prompted a flood of calls to law enforcement agencies on both sides of the Sierra Nevada in the two states. The explosion rattled windows and shook houses from Reno to Winnemucca in Nevada, and from the Sacramento to Bakersfield areas in California.

Some people in the two states reported seeing a fireball streak across the sky at the same time. Dan Ruby of the Fleischmann Planetarium at the University of Nevada, Reno, says the reports indicate the meteor broke up above Earth somewhere over the Sierra southwest of Reno.

When debris enters the atmosphere it creates explosions similar to the sonic boom of a fast-moving aeroplane, according to meteorologists. There were no reports of earthquakes or other seismic activity at the time.

Jenae Neu told 'I was outside my apartment and saw a huge bright thing in the corner of my eye. I looked up and saw a huge bright ball with some sort of tail. 'It looked like it was about 100 yards away and it only lasted about two seconds before it went behind a hill that's close to my place. It was like nothing I've ever seen. It was crazy.'

A police officer reported seeing a 'weird, multi-coloured comet, sparking and streaking toward the ground'.

This weekend has been a time of heightened meteor activity, as the Lyrid meteor shower was visible from Earth. The shower comes around once a year, and tends to peak on April 22.

It is caused by the passage of Comet Thatcher, which leaves debris in its wake as it passes the Earth at a distance of more than 80million miles.

Source: mailonline
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