If pieces of the meteor that exploded over the Bay Area Wednesday fell to the ground, they may be found in a band of land shaped like an ice cream cone stretching north from southern Marin County through Fairfax and Novato up to Sonoma, an astronomer who tracked its path told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The meteor was clearly visible from Benicia shortly after the end of the annual Benicia High School homecoming parade.
Initial reports said fragments of the heavenly body, estimated to be about the size of a car, fell near Martinez, but meteor scientist Peter Jenniskens told the Chronicle that his calculations put it further west and north.
Jenniskens also said the meteor was very old, not part of the Orionids meteor shower visible this week, but an ancient asteroid from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter left over from the birth of the solar system 4.7 billion years ago, the Chronicle said in an article in Saturday's paper.
The prospect of finding one of the valuable fragments has lured many people to take up meteorite hunting in the Bay Area, KGO-TV reported. (A meteor or piece of one that lands on Earth is called a meteorite.)
The station found one man, Bob Verish, who drove from Nevada after his calculations pointed to Mill Valley as a likely place.
"Verish says the pieces from the meteor as small as a grape, or as big as a grapefruit," the station reported. "Light on the inside, dark on the outside, much like a charcoal briquette."
"They can be sold for hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars," the newscast said.
Did you see the meteor Wednesday evening? Tell us about it in comments.
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