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Meteor Dazzles Nevada Residents

Last Sunday, Nevada residents woke up to a loud sonic boom caused by a meteor entering the earth's atmosphere.

A rare daytime meteor was seen and heard streaking over northern Nevada and parts of California on Sunday,(4/22) just after the peak of an annual meteor shower.

Observers in the Reno area of Nevada reported seeing a fireball at about 8 a.m. local time, accompanied or followed by a thunderous clap that experts said could have been a sonic boom from the meteor or the sound of it breaking up high over the Earth.

The booming noise set off alarms at a Walmart store in Carson City, Nevada's capital, and was felt in and around the Lake Tahoe Basin and into California.  The boom was caused by the speed with which the space rock entered the atmosphere. Meteorites enter Earth's upper atmosphere at somewhere between 22,000 and 44,000 mph – faster than the speed of sound, thus creating a sonic boom.

The meteor was reported seen in California from Sacramento to Orange County, hundreds of miles to the south. But the fireball went unnoticed in much of the Los Angeles area and other parts of Southern California because of cloudy skies.

Sunday's unusual daytime shooting star came just after the pre-dawn peak of the Lyrid meteor shower, an annual display that occurs when the Earth passes through remnants of space debris left by a comet that last approached the planet in 1861 on its 400-year orbit of the sun.

For a full schedule of meteor showers, visit the farmer's almanac website 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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