The sky is raining rocks, apparently. All astronomers know this, so it comes as no surprise to them that yet another small heavenly body streaked across the San Franciscan sky, as reported by the Associated Press on Friday, February 16. It was just last week that a meteor struck the vastness of Central Russia, where flying debris reportedly injured upwards of a thousand people.
Similarly to the asteroid that hit the Urals – scientists say it released an amount of energy equivalent to almost 20 Hiroshima bombs, sans the radiation of course – the one that passed over San Francisco let off a light as bright as the sun for s few moments, before the friction robbed it of its glare as it continued out of Earth’s atmosphere. While this one didn’t hit, there are many small asteroids that hit the Earth’s surface every single day; we don’t notice them for several reasons: they are usually very tiny, and the Earth is less than 30% land mass – of which us humans occupy less than 2%.
Mike Hankey of the American Meteor Society downplayed the event (rightfully so), saying that such streaking meteors occur every single night by the thousands, but usually in places where there are no humans to watch – given that nearly half the available land on earth is pure wilderness, where there are no human observers. Sometimes, when an explosion is heard in the distance, it isn’t even the meteor striking the surface – it’s the sonic boom it makes when it dips into the upper atmosphere before exiting back out into outer space.
The Chabot Space and Science Center based in Oakland, San Francisco also received reports on the so-called fireball (the name for a meteor that doesn’t strike the surface). The span of its flight was reported to be well over a hundred miles, from the South to the Northeast of san Francisco, although the giant telescope, itself, failed to catch the event.