© Lisa Warren/NASA-JPL/AP
An image provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory shows a meteor over Reno, Nevada on April 22, 2012.
NASA has released a photograph of a flaming meteor that unleashed a powerful sonic boom Sunday morning, rattling houses in California and Nevada when its disintegration released energy equivalent to a 5-kiloton explosion.

The former space rock entered Earth's atmosphere around 8 a.m. PT on April 22 and exploded over California's Central Valley, according to NASA, which pinpointed the location in a map posted on its website.

According to, several witnesses initially thought they had experienced an earthquake.

"An event of this size might happen about once a year," said Don Yeomans of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office. "But most of them occur over the ocean or an uninhabited area, so getting to see one is something special."