A Meteorite Didn't Start Today's Six Alarm Fire in San Francisco

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Twitter is going insane with talk of a meteorite possibly causing today's fire in San Francisco's Western Addition. It's all based on a blurry (they're always burry) photograph. Guess, what, that didn't happen.

I made a quick call to NASA to see if they had heard anything. After being puzzled as to why I was calling, they threw down a few facts. First off, meteorites aren't giant flaming rocks falling from the sky. They're usually just rock and ice. If a meteorite had hit San Francisco, there would be hole in the top of the home it hit and a crater in the ground.


Secondly, the Earth gets hit by about one to two baseball sized meteorites a year. One to two. That's it. Most of the particles that hit the Earth are about the size of a grain of sand.


Finally, look at the picture. I mean really. They might as well have put a UFO and Bigfoot in that thing. And shouldn't there be a rock at the end of that streak? Plus, with the amount of people constantly snapping photos in San Francisco (it's a nice place!), we'd have far more photos of it. Just to show how easy it is to add streaks to the sky that look like falling objects, we present the photo below. Anyone with Photoshop and five minutes can do this. I think someone got punked.

Wanna see a real meteorite hit the Earth? Check out the video below the image. [Mission Mission via Annalee Newitz]