California’s Fireball Problem

If any of you happen to live in or around California, watch your heads.

On Thursday, January 17, a bright fireball streaked across the sky in Northern California and Nevada. The event occurred around 5:21 a.m. PST, with the American Meteor Society receiving 80 reports and even more comments on their website.

Some of the witnesses report seeing a “blue tail of the meteor,” while others claim it looked “light green to yellowish.” Regardless the color, it appeared very, very bright.

Oh, but this is just the latest fireball to grace California’s skies.

Earlier last year, another one was spotted over California and Nevada, which also turned out to be a meteorite. Scientists recovered the fragments, remains of the shattered Sutter’s Mill meteor, which broke apart on April 22.

Bonus: it was of the rare carbonaceous chondrite variety, which “contains information about the early stages of the solar system.”

And let’s not forget the mysterious vertical contrail spotted in the skies near Los Angeles in November 2010. Many conspiracies were born that day: could it have been the result of a secret rocket or missile launch? Aliens?

But the final response was less interesting, with the Pentagon assuring everyone it was likely a good, old fashioned jet contrail.

No, this stuff isn’t paranormal. It’s not even that weird. But you’ve got to watch out for those meteorites.

Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions. Might be a robot.

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