Comet Thatcher produces fireballs and sonic booms in the Sierra Nevada
The sound of a powerful explosion punctuated the calm over a wide area of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California about 8:30 a.m. today, the apparent result of an ongoing meteor shower left by the annual Earth fly-by of Comet Thatcher. Craig Shoemaker, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Sacramento, said the Lyrid meteor shower - the debris cloud left by the comet as it makes its annual pass -- is capable of producing fireballs and sonic booms, "similar as a plane would make" when it crosses the sound barrier.
The Lyrid meteor shower is at its peak today and Monday, Shoemaker said.
Georgann Wilmot, a resident who lives on a mountain ridge east of Sutter Creek, told The Bee she heard a "tremendous explosion" that seemed protracted about 8:30 a.m. "It went on for a while," she said. "We heard one big one and then there other rumblings" and that persisted, reminiscent of thunder. At first I thought maybe it was an earthquake," she said.
Just another spectacular cosmic show or a portent of doom for She-who-must-not-be-named???
Give me a misty day, pearly gray, silver, silky faced, wide-awake crescent-shaped smile