Residents across Nevada and California spotted a fireball and heard a sonic boom early Sunday that rattled homes.
Astronomers said a meteor entering Earth's atmosphere around 8:30 a.m. PST caused the loud explosion and fireball, reported the Associated Press. Officials reported no damages or injuries.
Twenty residents across Nevada and California reported sightings of the fireball.
It made the shades in my room shake hard enough to slam into the window a couple times, Nicole Carlsen, who heard the sonic boom, told the AP. I kept looking for earthquake information, but [there was] nothing. I even checked the front of my house to make sure no one ran into the garage. I wish I had seen the meteor.
Robert Lunsford of the American Meteor Society said that fireballs enter Earth's atmosphere all the time, but most are in daytime and are missed.
This one was extraordinarily bright in the daylight, he said according to the Associated Press. He explained that a meteor has to pass through the atmosphere intact and break up five miles above Earth to create a fireball. Those instances are pretty rare, he said, further explaining that most fireballs are visible 50 miles above Earth.
If you hear a sonic boom or loud explosion, that's a good indication that some fragments may have reached the ground, Lunsford told the AP. We'll have to get some people to work on it to pinpoint where it broke up and see if anything can be found on the ground.
Residents reported a streak of light across the sky that astronomers estimated as a fireball, a type of bright meteor. Some homeowners said they originally figured an earthquake had occurred or an airplane had landed on their roofs.
Jenae Neu of Sparks, Nev., said the fireball was about 100 yards away and her sighting lasted about two seconds before it went behind a hill that's close to my place.
I was out at Patagonia [west Reno] hiking in the mountains saw this great big white ball streaming across the sky to the west, Ellen Pillard, who lives in old northwest Reno, told the Reno Gazette-Journal. Then it just disappeared. Then about 15 minutes later, I heard the boom. It was just amazing. I thought maybe I was dreaming.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Stefanie Henry explained the process particles go through to CBS San Francisco.
The loud noises that people are hearing, we believe it has to do with the rapid particles combusting and exploding because they're heating up so rapidly and so quickly as they enter our atmosphere, she said.
People are putting two and two together and saying it has something to do with the meteor shower, he said. But the fireball was probably coincidental and unrelated to the peak of the meteor shower.
Ruby said the fireball was just a bit bigger than a washing machine.
Brian Campbell of Placerville, Calif. told KTVU that it looked like the sun was coming at him.
[It felt like] a really low rumble that got louder and louder like a rocket taking off and it finally started shaking the house and everything, Campbell said.