The sonic boom didn't reach Tampa, but several Bay area residents were still worried after learning a meteorite exploded over Russia Friday morning. About 1,000 people were injured in Chelyabinsk as glass shattered and buildings crumbled.
"I've gotten about a hundred phone calls today asking me if this is going to be the end of the world," said Tim Hill at Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry. "Should they take shelter? Should they be worried about radiation?"
Hill told the callers there is no need to worry. NASA scientists agree.
"We see these fire balls quite often," said Dr. Jim Green of NASA. "Many we don't see because they occur over the ocean, but they are actually a more frequent event."
In a cosmic coincidence Friday afternoon, an asteroid half the size of a football field came close to Earth. A distance of 17,200 miles might sound far, but scientists say it is the closest known flyby for a rock that big ever recorded.
Tampa science teacher Jessica Addington said the historic day in the sky should put people here on Earth in perspective.
"We know we're not the only thing out there," said Addington. "We're small compared to the things that are out in space."
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