A meteor shower lit up skies above the Bay Area and throughout California on Wednesday night, and they will appear with increasing frequency through Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

Reports of bright fireballs streaking across the skies were reported from as far north as Mendocino County, forecaster Steve Anderson said. A cloud-free sky and the warm temperatures that are pushing out the clouds will make the showers more and more visible as the weekend approaches, Anderson said.

Astronomy.com reported that the fireballs are part of the Orionid meteor shower, which will peak from sundown Saturday through sunrise Sunday. The meteor shower is so named, the site reported, because all of the meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Orion.

According to the site, Orionid meteors are the fastest of all meteor showers and strike the atmosphere at 148,000 mph, and many leave persistent trails.

Residents reported seeing the bright lights and hearing a loud boom throughout Northern California, with sightings as far as Santa Cruz County. Some reported feeling a thud, like an earthquake. Loud booms are often associated with meteor showers.

Rick Hurd covers breaking news. Contact him at 925-945-4780 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.



Advertisement