Why no meteor warnings?

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Another night, another meteor lighting up our sky. Many of you have called or emailed us about why our meteorologists haven't sent out warnings about the space rocks.

picture from video on a potential meteor

Simply put, predicting a meteor's entry into Earth's orbit is a totally different ball game than predicting a snow storm. And this particular meteor was too small – an estimated six feet in diameter – to be seen ahead of time.

“It's very small, very dark, they don't emit light, they're very far away, and they're moving very fast,” Alex Mak said.

Mak is the planetarium associate director. He says a space rock six feet across still has the power of 100 tons of TNT. Turns out, that's pretty small.

“Right now we're able to pick up on things in the 100 foot range,” Mak said. “Things that are very important to us, because anything much larger can become a cataclysmic event.”

Mak says there's no reason to worry about small meteors, because, well, there's nothing we can do.

“Ultimately sooner or later, statistically, we're bound to be hit by something very, very large,” Mak said.

Mak says it's not all that uncommon to see these bright fireballs. They happen about once a month, somewhere on earth.