By Brandon Mercer

EAST BAY (CBS SF) — From Concord to Davis, and as far south as Palo Alto, seven sky watchers spotted a fireball streaking across the sky Monday night after 8 p.m., burning in oranges, yellows, and even purples before fragmenting and disintegrating overhead.

Spring is “fireball” season when a 30 percent increase in meteors is observed around earth, and Monday night’s reports of a fireball over the Bay Area are exactly what NASA and astronomers hope to track.

FIREBALL REPORTS: http://www.amsmeteors.org/members/imo_view/event/2015/810

“Forrest L” in Concord reported to the American Meteor Society, “This was the brightest meteor I can recall having seen. It passed about a hand span or two from the moon and seemed brighter. I could not tell if it ‘burned out’ or disappeared behind the clouds. My first sight of it was directly overhead, and fully bright, not faded-in as most meteors do, so I believe it started behind me. It moved much faster than an airplane.”

“Greg M” in Martinez wrote in, “I ran into the house to tell everyone to get away from the windows.”

Some reported hearing a sound, while most others heard nothing, but many saw a burning trail of cosmic debris.

FIREBALL SEASON: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=11231

NASA’s Alex Kasprak writing for Science@NASA and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center explains the March-April “Fireball Season” saying, “The reason why is still unknown, but one hypothesis is that more space debris litters this section of Earth’s orbit. In search of the answer, NASA scientists set up a network of ground cameras that track and record video of meteors flaming overhead. The footage can be used to pinpoint a meteor’s orbit and origin. Watch the video to learn more.”

The fireball season continues until the end of April, when the Lyrid Meteor Showers begin.

Comments