Thursday, November 7, 2013

FIRE IN THE SKY: NASA Says That A New Chelyabinsk-Like Meteor Strike Is SEVEN TIMES More Likely - About 20 MILLION Space Rocks Whizzing Around The Solar System Could Do Serious Damage To The Earth!

November 07, 2013 - SPACE - The meteor that shocked Russia in February when it exploded in the skies above Chelyabinsk shows us that the danger from space rocks smashing into Earth is much bigger than previously thought, an international group of scientists has concluded.




The 20-meter-wide meteor, which streaked across the sky and exploded into small pieces on Feb. 15, smashing windows, damaging buildings and damaging residents’ eyesight, could have caused much more damage if it had been more solid, three studies published in US journals Nature and Science on Wednesday found.

After studying the area around the explosion and a wealth of video and other evidence over the last few months, NASA scientist Paul Chodas said the meteor blast showed that there were about 20 million space rocks whizzing around the solar system that could do serious damage to Earth – not the 3 million previously thought. That’s because it was considered that meteors had to be 30 meters and wider to cause huge devastation, but Chelyabinsk was actually a nearer miss than it seemed at the time, the scientists said.

Hundreds of videos recorded by car dashboard cameras were analyzed, which helped a great deal to verify the exact trajectory, speed and the energy of the meteor explosion that shattered windows in more than 3,600 apartment blocks, broke in doors and gates, in some cases collapsing roofs and knocking many pedestrians off their feet.


A man in Moscow looks at a computer screen displaying a picture reportedly taken in the Urals city of
Chelyabinsk on February 15, 2013, showing the trail of a meteorite above a residential area of the city.
(AFP Photo)

Windows broken as a result of the meteorite fall near Chelyabinsk on February 15, 2013.
(Photo courtesy of Nakanune.RU. / RIA Novosti)

Over 1,200 people in the Chelyabinsk region were hospitalized that day because of the nuclear-like explosion.

According to the data now available, the Chelyabinsk meteor was traveling at a speed of 19 kilometers per second (68,400 kilometers an hour), was about a little bit less than 20 meters in diameter and weighed about 13,000 tons. Most of it burned up in the atmosphere and the huge emission of energy at the moment of the explosion, with no more than 0.05 percent (4-6 tons) of the debris of the space object reaching the surface of the planet.

Two groups of scientists published their studies in Nature, one led by Jirí Borovicka, of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the second led by Peter Brown, at the University of Western Ontario. Both calculated that the Chelyabinsk meteor explosion was equivalent to about 500 kilotons of TNT.

It has also been established that it is highly probable that the Chelyabinsk meteor was previously a part of a bigger space rock, two kilometers in diameters – an asteroid identified as (86039) 1999 NC43 that will pass several millions kilometers away from Earth in March 2014.


Destruction caused by the blast of the falling space object at the Chelyabinsk zinc plant on February 15, 2013.
(Pavel Lisitsyn / RIA Novosti)

Brown’s group estimated the peak brightness of the explosion as 30 times brighter than the sun, which led to many, sometimes severe, cases of skin burns and eye retinas being damaged, as an estimated 70 people temporarily lost their sight because of the bright explosion.

The scientists also concluded that the existing models of atmosphere meteor explosions, based on nuclear warhead test data, were not correct, leading scientists to increase the estimated number of space rocks dangerous for Earth flying around the sun.

NASA previously considered meteorites dangerous if they were more than 30 meters in diameter on impact with Earth. After the Chelyabinsk 20-meter meteor exploded with a force of 40 Hiroshima atomic bombs, it became evident that instead of an estimated 3 million potentially dangerous objects in the solar system, scientists should keep tabs on 20 million asteroids.

And while such events were expected to occur only once every 150 years, now 30 years looks more likely to be the frequency of such catastrophes.

The research was based on the work of an international team of 59 researchers from nine countries, led by Olga Popova of the Russian Academy of Sciences. They collected data from multiple sources, including data from a world net of subsonic sonars used by inspectors of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the US military satellites monitoring missile launches and tests, Gazeta.ru reported.

The scientists calculated the kinetic power of the meteor more accurately at 590 kilotons, nearly twice the power of a W87 American 300-kiloton thermonuclear warhead.


Divers with a meteor fragment retrieved from Lake Chebarkul on October 16, 2013.
(Aleksandr Kondratuk / RIA Novosti)

The group conducted research in the impact zone and modeled of the meteor explosion’s shock wave, which coincided.

The scientists visited 50 villages around Chelyabinsk within weeks after the event, mapping the meteor’s destructive consequences.

They found out that the impact zone spread out as wide as 90 kilometers, resembling a butterfly, making it similar to the impact zone of another famous meteorite explosion, the Tunguska meteor that struck on June 30, 1908 above the Siberian taiga. The Tunguska meteor (a small comet) was up to 150 meters in diameter and the estimated explosion that happened about 10 kilometers above the surface was estimated of up to 30 megatons of TNT equivalent, 100 times more powerful than the Chelyabinsk meteor.

Popova’s group collected answer to over 1,700 questionnaires of eyewitnesses to the Chelyabinsk phenomenon. People said they could see traces of the meteor from as far away as 700 kilometers.
Some of the eyewitnesses questioned by the scientists told them something like, “Huh, I thought Americans were nuking us!

Popova said the Chelyabinsk meteor was a “standard” LL-type chondrite, with a relatively small quantity of iron in it. But it is still magnetic, and it can be easily detected by a mine detector and rusts when it comes into contact with water, Popova said.

As a rule meteors lose about 90 percent of their mass while they travel through Earth’s atmosphere, but the one that exploded over Chelyabinsk practically disappeared, Popova said. The largest peace of space rock retrieved from Lake Chebarkul in October weighs 570 kilograms, compared to the meteor’s originally estimated 18,000 tons.

That’s why we still don’t know what destructive forces space bodies are exposed to when they enter the atmosphere,” Olga Popova told Gazeta.ru.


NASA Says That New Chelyabinsk-like Meteor Strike Is SEVEN TIMES More Likely.
Children look at Chelyabinsk meteorite exhibited at Chelyabinsk Museum of Regional Studies.
(Aleksandr Kondratuk / RIA Novosti)


New research out of NASA suggests the odds of the Earth being rocked by another meteorite on par with the one that unexpectedly shook Chelyabinsk, Russia earlier this year are higher than previously estimated.

On Wednesday this week, officials with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced their latest findings regarding February’s meteorite, and it isn’t good news for anyone alarmed that another soaring chunk of rock could come ripping through Earth’s atmosphere.

Scientists say that the Chelyabinsk meteorite was the largest foreign body to hit Earth in almost a century, and similar ones could soon be on the way. Bill Cooke, who leads NASA’s meteoroid environment office at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center, said during a press conference this week that there is a pretty good chance of seeing something similar in the near future.


Divers pull a meteor fragment from Lake Chebarkul. (Aleksandr Kondratuk / RIA Novosti)

"If you look at the number of impacts detected by US government sensors over the past few decades you find the impact rate of kiloton-class objects is greater than would be indicated by the telescopic surveys," Cooke said at the presser, according to the UK’s Register newspaper.

Elsewhere during the event, Cooke acknowledged that the impact rate of these types of meteorites is several-times over what scientists had suspected.

"Over the past few decades we've seen an impact rate about seven times greater than the current state of the telescopic surveys would indicate,” he said.


WATCH:  Meteorite crash in Russia.





Researchers released their findings after spending almost a year investigating the February incident in which a rock nearly 65-feet in diameter soared blew up 18.5 miles above the Earth and then soared over Chelyabinsk after entering the atmosphere at a speed of 43,000 miles-per-hour.

If you want to calculate what happens in other circumstances in future asteroid impacts, you first need to understand Chelyabinsk,” said Peter Jenniskens, a research scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, according to the Los Angeles Times. “So Chelyabinsk is now the gold standard, thanks to citizen science. It is now our calibration point. And that’s why it’s really important to figure out what happened.”


Damage caused to the Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant by the meteorite fall. (Boris Kaulin / RIA Novosti)


Peter Brown, a planetary scientist at the University of Western Ontario involved in the latest NASA research, added that studying the Chelyabinsk meteorite is making other scientists reconsider how asteroid’s behave.

We need to refine those estimates,” he said. “We should see something like Chelyabinsk every 30 to 40 years rather than every 120 to 140 or so — a factor of three or four more of these impacts than the telescopic data suggest."

Last February’s incident injured more than 1,000 people in Russia and, according to the Washington Post, created a series of explosions equal to about 500 kilotons of TNT. - RT.



STORM ALERT: Super Typhoon Haiyan Heads For The Philippines - One Of The Most Intense Typhoons In Recent History; Most Powerful Cyclone Of 2013; Heavy Torrential Rainfall, Damaging Winds, Mudslides And Widespread Flooding In The Forecast!

November 07, 2013 - THE PHILIPPINES - Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most intense typhoons in recent history, is bearing down on The Philippines.

The most powerful tropical cyclone of 2013 anywhere on Earth is raging toward the Philippines.


Latest Satellite Image.

Forecast Path.

This water vapor image taken 7pm EST on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 illustrates the large size of Super
Typhoon Haiyan. (Source: Dundee Satellite Receiving Station, http://www.sat.dundee.ac.uk)

As of early Thursday afternoon (U.S. time), Super Typhoon Haiyan had top sustained winds near 195 mph (equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. A typhoon is considered a super typhoon when maximum wind speeds exceed 150 mph.

The University of Wisconsin estimated the typhoon's minimum pressure at 904.5 millibars Thursday morning. If such a storm were in the Atlantic basin it would be among the strongest on record, but the Western Pacific basin is less of a stranger to typhoons of this intensity.

Super Typhoon Haiyan moved past the Republic of Palau on Thursday local time. Winds gusted as high as 77 mph at the National Weather Service office in Palau early Thursday morning.


WATCH:  Super Typhoon Haiyan heading towards the Philippines.


 


Haiyan will move into the central Philippines as a super typhoon early on Friday, local time (Thursday night, U.S. time). The Philippine weather agency, PAGASA, has named the approaching typhoon Yolanda using its own separate naming list.

Haiyan will be accompanied by torrential rainfall, damaging winds and life-threatening storm surge, particularly in low-lying areas of onshore flow. The heavy rainfall will likely cause flooding and raise the risk of mudslides.


This infrared satellite image of Super Typhoon Haiyan taken on November 6, 2013 shows extremely cold
cloud tops associated with the typhoon's eyewall (the pink and purple colors correspond with -90 degree
Celsius temperatures). (Courtesy: Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies)

This visible satellite imagery of Super Typhoon Haiyan taken on November 6, 2013 shows the 'stadium effect',
where the clouds around the storm's eyewall slope dramatically up and out. Courtesy: Cooperative
Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies)

This visible satellite imagery of Super Typhoon Haiyan taken on November 6, 2013 illustrates the cyclone's
large circulation field. (Courtesy: Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies)

Fishermen repair their outriggers on the shore of Manila Bay as Typhoon Haiyan approached on
November 7, 2013. (JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images)


Some 10 million people who live on the central Philippine islands are most at risk of a direct strike from Haiyan.

The core of Haiyan is forecast to stay south of the Philippine capital of Manila, however significant rain and wind impacts are still expected Friday night or early Saturday local time (Friday, U.S. time).

Haiyan is then expected to sweep quickly into Vietnam by Sunday, possibly still as a strong typhoon.

Philippine Typhoon History

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the Philippines are hit by six or seven tropical cyclones in an average year.

In October, Typhoon Nari flooded farmlands and destroyed thousands of homes north of Manila.

Heavy rainbands on the southern edge of Typhoon Trami flooded Manila in August, claiming at least 18 lives and chasing over one quarter million from their homes. This occurred just over a week after Typhoon Utor slammed into the northern Philippines.

Just last week, the northern Philippines were hit by Typhoon Krosa.


WATCH:  Western Pacific Update - Super Typhoon Haiyan.





In December 2012, Super Typhoon Bopha raked the southernmost Philippine island of Mindanao, causing over 1,000 deaths, mostly from flash flooding and landslides. Bopha was the costliest storm to ever impact the Philippines.

Strong typhoons affecting the Philippines as far south as Haiyan are uncommon, according to Hurricane Specialist Michael Lowry. Including Bopha, only nine typhoons on record have moved over the Philippines this far south at or above the intensity currently forecast for Haiyan. Typhoon Mike in November of 1990 took a track similar to the forecast for Haiyan and decimated the Visayas, killing an estimated 700.

Haiyan is the Chinese word for petrel, a type of bird that lives over the open sea and returns to land only for breeding. Haiyan is the 28th named storm of the 2013 Western Pacific typhoon season. - TWC.



FIRE IN THE SKY: Comet ISON Races Towards The Sun - Now Visible Inside The Orbit Of The Earth! [LATEST IMAGE]

November 07, 2013 - SPACE - Comet ISON is now inside the orbit of Earth and racing toward the sun. Last night, astronomer Alberto Quijano Vodniza of Pasto, Colombia, recorded the comet moving through space at 103,000 mph (46 km/s).


Photo: Dennis di Ciccio/CORBIS.


"The movie shows the comet's motion over 27 minutes," says Vodniza. Watch it again. "We also caught a satellite."

On Nov. 28th, Comet ISON will fly through the sun's atmosphere little more than a million kilometers above the sun's fiery surface. This raises a question: Is Comet ISON racing toward its doom? Astronomer Matthew Knight of the Lowell Observatory thinks the comet might withstand the heat:




"At its closest point to the Sun, the equilibrium temperature approaches 5000 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to cause much of the dust and rock on ISON’s surface to vaporize," says Knight. "While it may seem incredible that anything can survive this inferno, the rate at which ISON will likely lose mass is relatively small compared to how big it likely is. Assuming that the comet's nucleus is bigger than about 200 meters in radius (current estimates suggest it is 500-2000 m in radius), it will likely survive. It helps that the comet is moving very fast, about 400 km/s at perihelion, so it will not remain long at such extreme temperatures."

If Comet ISON does survive its encounter with the sun, it could put on a good show for backyard astronomers in the northern hemisphere in December. The next few weeks will tell the tale. Stay tuned! - Space Weather.





SOLAR WATCH: X3-Class Solar Flare Caused A Very Rare 'Magnetic Crochet' - Radiation Surge In The Ionization Of Earth's Upper Atmosphere Resulted In A Disturbance Of The Planet's Magnetic Field!

November 07, 2013 - SUN - On November 5th at 22:12 UT, the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR1890 erupted, producing a brief but intense X3-class solar flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash:




Radiation from the flare caused a surge in the ionization of Earth's upper atmosphere--and this led to a rare magnetic crochet. Alexander Avtanski observed the effect using a homemade magnetometer in San Jose, California. A magnetic crochet is a disturbance in Earth's magnetic field caused by electrical currents flowing in air 60 km to 100 km above our heads. Unlike geomagnetic disturbances that arrive with CMEs days after a flare, a magnetic crochet occurs while the flare is in progress. They tend to occur during fast impulsive flares like this one.

More eruptions are in the offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of M-class solar flares and a 10% chance of X-flares on November 7th.

AR1890, one of the biggest sunspots of the current solar cycle, has turned almost directly toward Earth. This raises the possibility of geoeffective eruptions in the days ahead. NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of M-class flares and a 10% chance of X-flares on November 7th.


Visible Solar Disk.



The Sun has erupted more than two dozen times over the past ten days, sending solar material and radiation through space.

Scientists at NASA say more solar flares may be coming as Sun nears the highest peak of its 11-year activity rotation. The shooting radiation towards the Earth could potentially play havoc with global communications.

Since October 23, the Sun has sent out 24 medium-strength M-class solar flares, and four X-class flares – the most powerful kind. As Sun is heading towards the peak of its 11-year cycle, a period known as the solar maximum, this should not be unusual.

The solar flare that erupted on October 30, Friday was the fourth intense one the sun has emitted since October 23. According to NASA, October 23rd solar flare peaked at 5:54 p.m. ET. It was classified as a X2.3 class flare, big enough to disrupt satellites nearly 100 million miles away and more intense than the ones emitted the previous Friday. Those were classified at X1.7 and X2.1.

These two solar flares were also the most intense kind emitted by the sun,that can cause a temporary radio blackout. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued four radio blackout warnings during that time after solar weather suddenly turned turbulent.

Radiation from solar flares cannot penetrate the atmosphere of the Earth to harm life on the ground, but when strong enough it can interrupt the atmosphere in the ionosphere, where GPS and radio signals travel.

Solar flares occur when energy stored in magnetic fields twisted across the surface of the Sun is suddenly released. They can also cause aurora. Storms are rare during solar minimum, but as the sun nears solar maximum, large storms occur several times per year.

The storm that was most intense between Oct. 29 and 31, 2003 caused some scary sun-spawned havoc both on the Earth and above it, officials with United States Geological Survey explained in a statement.

SOURCES: Space Weather | Truth Dive.



EXTREME WEATHER: Winter Arrives Early In The Upper U.S. Midwest - Winter Storm Dumps Over A Half Foot Of Snow In South Dakota, Minnesota, And Nebraska!

November 07, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A storm that trekked from southern South Dakota and northern Nebraska to northwest Iowa and central Minnesota Tuesday dropped up to 10 inches of snow with rates of one inch per hour in some locations.




In South Dakota, as much as 9.5 inches of snow fell 5 miles east of the town of Porcupine. Sioux Falls, located in the extreme southeast part of the state, saw just over a half foot of snow.

The top snow total in Nebraska was 10 inches in Gordon. North Platte saw its first measurable snow of the season with a total of 2.2 inches

Up to 10.5 inches covered the ground in Minnesota near Milroy. Minneapolis/St. Paul saw its first measurable snow of the season with 1.8 inches.

Weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce says, "The snow will linger in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan early on Wednesday before finally tapering off as low pressure heads into eastern Canada."


Rod Evans shovels the season's first blanket of snow Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, outside his photo studio in
Sioux Falls, S.D. He just signed his snow removal contract but it doesn't start until Nov. 15 so
he had to do it himself. (AP Photo/Carson Walker)

This iWitness photo was taken by Joe Reklaitis 5in Concord NE.

This iWitness photo was taken by Britt Griffith in Elgin, Neb.


South Dakota farmers could use that break. The sunflower harvest is 31 percent done; the corn harvest is 63 percent complete; and the soybean harvest is at 92 percent, according to the latest U.S. Agriculture Department crop progress report.

"Obviously, the snow will bring them to a standstill for a few days," said Keith Alverson, who farms near Chester, in the eastern part of the state. "But it looks like it's going to warm up and stay pretty dry, so hopefully it's a temporary shutdown."

Alverson got all of his corn out Monday, though he still has field work to do.

It's been an on-again, off-again harvest, he said.

"We've had these small windows the month of October. It seems about once a week we'd get some rain or snow or something. We'd have two to three days off and go hard for a few days and then have a break, so we certainly made an intense push there," Alverson said.


This iWitness photo was taken by Penny Wal 5 miles NE of Avon, SD.

This iWitness photo was taken by Penny Wal 5 miles NE of Avon, S.D.

Southeastern Minnesota. (Mark Tarello)


Kurt Stiefvater said the corn on his farm in Salem, about 45 miles east of Sioux Falls, will need a few days to dry. Otherwise silk on the ears of corn can clog the combine and the ground will be too sticky from the cold and snow.

"It makes the ground conditions on top a little greasy," he said.

The snow prompted the postponement of some events but otherwise had a minimal impact.

"It's gotta happen sometime," said Rod Evans as he shoveled the heavy snow off the sidewalk outside his photography studio in Sioux Falls.

He mailed his snow removal contract for the year on Tuesday morning, just before the snow started to fall. It goes into effect Nov. 15.


WATCH: Winter Arrives Early in South Dakota.

video



In southwestern Minnesota, a trained spotter measured 8.5 inches of snow about 6 miles to the east-southeast of Marshall.

The National Weather Service says a spotter estimated 8 inches of snow 5 miles north-northwest of Holland.

Other snowfall reports include 3.5 inches near Kingston and in Granite Falls and 3 inches in Sacred Heart. - TWC.



PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Activity Increasing In Oklahoma - 12 Earthquakes Hit Oklahoma City On Monday And Tuesday!

November 07, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Another earthquake rattled the central Oklahoma area Monday night.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the 3.9 magnitude earthquake was recorded just after 10 p.m. Its epicenter was located four miles north, northwest of Jones, eight miles east, southeast of Edmond, nine miles north, northwest of Choctaw, 12 miles north, northeast of Midwest City, and 14 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.




It was about five miles deep.

The Oklahoma Geological Survey reports that the earthquake was 4.0 in magnitude.


No injuries or damage were immediately reported following this earthquake.

Many News 9 viewers in the Oklahoma City metro area, including Oklahoma City, Edmond, Midwest City, Choctaw, and Yukon reported feeling the earthquake. According to the Oklahoma Geological Survey, 11 earthquakes were recorded in Oklahoma on Monday. - News On 6.


Just hours after a 3.9 magnitude earthquake rattled people in central Oklahoma out of their beds, another quake shook them awake early Tuesday morning.

According the U.S. Geological Survey, the 3.2 magnitude quake struck just after 2:30 a.m. November 5. It was centered four miles northwest of Spencer, and eight miles north northeast of Oklahoma City. There have been no reports of damage.

The quake hit four-and-a-half hours after a 3.9 magnitude quake was reported near Jones.

The recent swarm of temblors has pushed many Oklahomans to buy earthquake insurance. - News 9.



MASS MAMMAL DIE-OFF: Mass Die-Off Of Turtles Off The Coast Of Guanacaste, Costa Rica?!

November 07, 2013 - COSTA RICA - Alejandro Masis Cuevillas, Regional Director of the Regional Directorate of the Guanacaste Conservation Area (ACG) confirmed the mass killing of turtles in the North Pacific.




"Through a journey made in the area - attended the biologist Luis Fonseca Widcast organization, National Technical University, National Animal Health Service and Coast Guard and the Costa Rican Institute of Fisheries and Agriculture, an amount determined important and significant of dead turtles, "said Mr. Masis.

Also fishermen in the area also confirmed the presence of dead or dying turtles on beaches.

Biologists suggest that turtles were not to shore but were swept away by currents, even though the area where they were, are places of the turtle nesting.

As stated by Mr. Masis, "individuals took samples to laboratories in San Jose to determine if there is any indication of toxicity associated with death." "At the moment there is no clear cause of death associated with massive," said the principal. - Teletica. [Translated]



FIRE IN THE SKY: "I Have Never Seen Anything Like That Before" - Massive Flashing Fireball Seen Hurtling Across California Sky During Meteor Shower!

November 07, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Residents from around the Southland reported seeing a large light streak across the night sky Wednesday.

Authorities tell CBS2 and KCAL9 that the object appeared to be a meteor.

Many calls came into law enforcement agencies from Riverside, La Quinta and Rancho Mirage. CBS2 and KCAL9 also had reported sightings throughout Orange County.


Glowing: At one point the meteor glowed brighter, pictured. It was likely part of the South Taurids meteor
shower which is expected to be active for the first couple of weeks of November

One viewer, named Myriam R., was driving west on the 118 Freeway when she said she saw a large fireball around 7:50 p.m.

“I thought it was a plane,” she said, “but it was too fast.”

A witness named Fabian sent CBS2/KCAL9 video from a security camera in his front yard in Sylmar.

“At first I thought it might be fireworks,” he said. “It was kind of greenish, and it was large. And then it broke apart.”

He added, “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

Other sightings were reported in Arizona, Utah and Las Vegas.


WATCH: Massive fireball streaks across skies of Southern California.




Scientists predicted a meteor shower that occurs every year about this time. But they also say we haven’t seen anything yet.

So-called  Taurid meteor showers, which seem to come from the direction of the constellation Taurus, will reach their peak this year on Nov. 16 through the early morning of Nov. 17. Observers, aided by a full moon, will see 10 to 20 large fireballs every hour.

The website PlanetSave.com says the 10-to-20 figure is actually fewer than we normally get in this time period,  but that it still promises to be “a pretty good show.”

KCAL9′s Serene Branson spoke to Dr. Laura Danly, a curator at the Griffith Observatory.


Fireball: Hundreds of Californians reported seeing a massive fireball moving across the sky on Wednesday

The fireballs are easily explained, Danly said.

“They’re rocks in outer space. They’re chunks of asteroids, called meteroids,” Danly said. “They’re flying into the Earth’s atmosphere and they’re burning up. It’s kind of like when astronauts return to the Earth’s atmosphere and there is all that heat during re-entry. Same idea. These rocks are literally burning up.  And that’s what you’re seeing.”

Phone lines at the Orange County Emergency Operations Center lit up. Dozens of OC residents were calling 911 when they saw a green light streak across the sky.

The residents told dispatchers they saw a meteor.

CBS2′s Stacey Butler spoke to witnesses in the OC.

A Mission Viejo man was driving on the 73 Toll Road when he saw the light show.

“I saw this big, greenish flash like, light up the sky,” Matthew Isaacs said. “It was headed pretty sideways from like, east to west. I thought, ‘Is that a firework?’ And then I realized, that couldn’t be that big. It’s just in the middle of nowhere in a totally dark area where there’s no houses or anything where anyone would shoot fireworks. I thought, ‘Man, it must have been a meteor.’”

An astronomy professor at UC Irvine said the green light people saw was oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.

She said every day, there are about 800 meteors in the Earth’s atmosphere. Most of them don’t ever touch ground and many of them are 100 grams, like the size of a yogurt cup.

Sightings were reported as far away as Texas. - CBS Los Angeles.