Scientists find fragments of West Coast fireball

California Meteor

Credit: AP Photo/Lisa Warren, NASA/JPL

This image provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory shows a meteor over Reno, Nevada on Sunday. (AP Photo/Lisa Warren, NASA/JPL)



Associated Press

Posted on April 25, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 25 at 4:19 PM

Fireball sightings

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RENO, Nev. (AP) — A meteor expert at UCLA says tiny meteorites found in Northern California likely were part of the giant fireball that exploded in daylight over the weekend.

John T. Wasson, a longtime professor at UCLA's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, tells The Associated Press at least two tiny meteorites weighing about 10 grams each were found Wednesday near the towns of Coloma and Lotus, northeast of Sacramento.

The flaming meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere with a loud boom about 8 a.m. Sunday. It was seen from Sacramento to Las Vegas and parts of northern Nevada.

NASA scientists say it probably was about the size of a minivan and exploded with the force equal to one-third of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II.