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Meteor Lights Up Northern California Skies

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A meteor lit up the night sky Wednesday, and was spotted all across the area.

The National Weather Service says people from the Bay Area to Tehama County and South Fresno reported sightings.

Some people near Executive Airport even called 9-1-1, fearing a plane may have been crashing.

Most people think the meteor is part of the Orionid meteor shower which happens every year about this time.

“Earth is passing through a stream of debris from Halley’s Comet, the source of the Orionids,” says Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “Flakes of comet dust hitting the atmosphere should give us dozens of meteors per hour.”

According to NASA, the best time to check out the Orinids this year will be sunrise on Sunday, Oct. 21. That’s when Earth encounters the most dense part of Halley’s debris stream. NASA recommends waking up a few hours before dawn, going outside and looking

“Since 2006, the Orionids have been one of the best showers of the year, with counts in some years up to 60 or more meteors per hour,” says Cooke.

NASA will hold a live Web chat on Saturday from 8 p.m. to Midnight Pastern time with astronomer Mitzi Adams to talk about the night sky. See NASA chat information.

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