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Northern California Gets Rare View Of Burning Meteor

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SAN RAFAEL (CBS13) – CBS13 has learned where Wednesday night’s fiery rock may have landed.

Phone lines at the city of San Rafael’s dispatch were lighting up just like the skies did Wednesday night.

Images were captured by sky gazers, showing a fiery streak of light shooting across the sky.

“It was amazing. It stretched the whole sky as it flickered out in little bursts,” Jesse Hotchkis said.

“I saw an object come towards earth,” said Lucian Hayes. “It burned up in the atmosphere and it was amazing.”

An out-of-this-world sight stopped kids in their tracks while skateboarding in San Rafael.

“It look liked it was only 100 feet in the air,” said Lucian.

“It was pretty miraculous,” said Hotchkis.

That miracle is somewhat of a mystery. The breathtaking blast was seen not just in San Rafael, but also in Belmont, and reports of extraterrestrial activity came in from cities all across Northern California.

“A number of calls came in for a sonic boom that sounded like coming out of San Francisco and out of Sausalito,” said San Rafael Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Buscher. “Most people were nervous from the boom; didn’t know what the sound was.”

A scientist with Galactic Analytics tracked the meteor’s movement on Doppler radar. His findings prove an ancient rock, likely about 4.5 billion years old, entered our atmosphere.

“Something that produces sonic boom is a very good indicator,” Galactic Analytics Chief Scientist Mark Fries said.

Fries says the meteor likely came into orbit from San Jose at a shallow angle, then burst somewhere north of San Francisco.

Experts say a meteor impacts the earth once a day. However, for it to be captured on cameras with its images etched in minds is a rare occurrence. It’s one that has rock hunters on the lookout.

Many meteorite hunters still say they need more data, but there’s a good chance they’re going to start invading this part of the country.

So far, there have been no reports of anyone stumbling across the meteorite.

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