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article imageUPDATE: Fireball seen streaking across northern California sky

By Greta McClain     Feb 16, 2013 in World
San Francisco - Less than 24 hours after meteorites crashed into two cities in northern Russia, residents of several northern California communities reported a "fireball" streaking across the sky.
The meteor, described by witnesses as a "fireball", was seen making its way through the San Francisco, California sky just after 8:00 p.m. local time according to NBC Bay Area. The meteor was also seen in Sacramento, and as far north as Fairfield and as far south as Gilroy.
Mercury News reports that Contra Costa County Sheriff's radio traffic indicates that they are aware of the reports but have not had any reports of injuries or damage.
Candice Guruwaiya, a San Jose resident, told KNBC:
"I was leaving Safeway on Branham and Snell when I saw it. It looked like it was headed for the Capital Auto Mall area. It was a bright green when it first appeared, then it went to a bright yellow. It was awesome!"
NBC Bay Area reporter Jodi Hernandez told MSNBC:
"I saw that meteor/fireball over Solano County after spending the day reporting on asteroids and fireballs."
Gerald McKeegan, an astronomer with the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, was at the center Friday evening but did not observe the meteor, but that the center did receive phone calls reporting the meteor. He told Inside Bay Area he believed it was a "sporadic meteor," an event that can happen several times a day but largely go unobserved by human eyes. He went on to say that sporadic meteors being as much as 15,000 tons of space debris to Earth each year.
On Friday, Digital Journal reported that meteorites struck in Urals and Chelyabinsk, Russia. Those meteorites injured at least 1200 people. There are no reports of injuries or damage related to the California meteor.
Jonathan Braidman, also with the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, said the meteors over California, Russia and Cuba do not appear to be related, and that they are not related to the 2012 DA14 asteroid. Like McKeegan, he stated that meteor "fireballs" are not uncommon, telling KTVU:
"Any time you get out to a dark sky take a look up and you might get to see something like that if you get lucky."
More about Meteorite, Meteor, San Francisco, fireball, California
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