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Fireball Lights Up Northern California Skies

Meteor leaves Bay Area starstruck


A motorist captured this video driving south on Interstate 280 in the Bay Area and posted it to YouTube.

It's really starting to look like the sky is falling.

According to media reports, a fireball streaked through the skies above California's Bay Area Friday evening, just hours after another bright meteor exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk and a 150-foot-wide asteroid gave Earth a historically close shave.

The Bay Area fireball blazed up around 7:45 p.m. local time Friday, NBC Bay Area reported. The meteor apparently had a bluish tinge and was visible over a wide swath of the region, from Fairfield north of San Francisco Bay down to Gilroy, which is south of San Jose.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, which distinguished the California fireball from its Russian counterpart. The Chelyabinsk blast generated a powerful shock wave that damaged hundreds of buildings and wounded more than 1,000 people.

Friday's Russian fireball was the largest such explosion since a 1908 airburst leveled 825 square miles of forest in the Tunguska region of Siberia, NASA scientists said.

The flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14, which also took place Friday, didn't generate such pyrotechnics in the atmosphere, but it was dramatic enough in its own right. The space rock cruised to within 17,200 miles of Earth at one point, coming closer than the ring of geosynchronous satellites circling the planet.

The flyby marked the closest approach of such a large asteroid that astronomers had ever known about in advance. The space rock that generated the Chelyabinsk fireball had nothing to do with asteroid 2012 DA14, NASA researchers stressed. Little is known about where the Bay Area meteor came from at the moment, but it may turn out to be unrelated as well, making Friday a day of truly improbable cosmic coincidences.

Follow SPACE.com senior writer Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall or SPACE.com @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook and Google+.
  • Meteor Hits Central Russia, 900+ Hurt | Video
  • Meteor Blast Over Russia Feb. 15: Complete Coverage
  • Asteroid 2012 DA14 Earth Flyby of Feb. 15: Complete Coverage

  • Copyright 2013 SPACE.com, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: Jaw-Dropping Meteor Explosion

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    ldrthmaul

    Russia laughs at your puny meteor!

    February 17 2013 at 11:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
    talari

    The public, news media, and politicians are tired of the "same o, same o" regarding the economy, deficit, immigration, and drugs and need something fun and new to whine about... This will do. Big rocks have been falling since the beginning of time, it's nothing NEW. Just a new distraction for the hopeless, powerless human race.

    February 17 2013 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
    skinnycat

    Seems a little strange that they are popping up at the same time. But, they are not of the same origin, so they say. How do they know that? Did they analyze each rock? Hardly had time for that nor could they do the big one that came so close. So, is the solar system aiming in our direction now? Do the "winds" of the solar system change directions periodically? Should we be expecting more in the near future? Are 'they' telling us all that they know?
    I admit that I know little about it but it sure makes me wonder and raises questions.

    February 17 2013 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
    tdorsett7

    This is just the beginning....

    February 16 2013 at 11:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
    djmworks

    Makes you wonder what really happened in Russia! http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/02/russian-nuclear-bombers-over-guam/

    February 16 2013 at 9:38 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
    1 reply to djmworks's comment
    skinnycat

    Air Force Capt. Kim Bender, a spokeswoman for the Pacific Air Force in Hawaii, confirmed the incident to the Washington Free Beacon and said Air Force F-15 jets based on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, “scrambled and responded to the aircraft.”

    Why could they not respond so quickly in our OWN country? Remember 911 with no response?

    Read more: http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/02/russian-nuclear-bombers-over-guam/#ixzz2LASlM14H

    February 17 2013 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
    rfirefly

    lame

    February 16 2013 at 7:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
    metalgddess

    Fireball-Shmireball...

    February 16 2013 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
    ravennightfall31

    Wow, majorly disappointed. Looked liken nothing more than an above average UFO light.

    February 16 2013 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
    Freddie

    One of the digital camera images of the Russia event had the date superimposed right on the screen. It was Dec. 31, 2012! Now......was that just a camera that needed it's date reset? Or was this an event from a month & a half ago that Russia just now released? Conspiracy theorists of the world...arise! ;-)

    February 16 2013 at 3:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
    1 reply to Freddie's comment
    Aureatia

    More than likely the person who took the picture either didn't know how to change the date. Or they may of been in the middle of changing the batteries in the camera and because the event was happening right at that moment they didn't have time to change the date and time information. Thereby taking a picture with the wrong date/time information. Yet, it's possible there were two events. One in December and one yesterday, but I highly doubt that sort of thing would have been able to have been kept so quiet for so long. Considering all the satellites orbiting the earth taking pictures but public and "privately, or should I say secretively ;-)

    February 16 2013 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
    calderasf

    Wow went right over my house there shooting in front of it. Last year on the hill to my house I saw a huge fireball heading east at night it look so close to me it was awesome.

    February 16 2013 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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