KEY POINTS

  • Eyewitnesses spotted a fireball flying over Calfornia
  • The fireball produced a bright flash in the sky
  • The object might be a meteor that exploded mid-air

Several residents in California spotted a bright fireball streaking across the sky. Based on eyewitness reports, the fiery object was most likely caused by a meteor that entered Earth’s atmosphere and produced a bright flash.

The residents reported the incident through the American Meteor Society’s (AMS) website. The site received 127 eyewitness reports from residents in different parts of California.

According to the eyewitnesses, the object appeared on June 9 at around 9 p.m. PDT or on June 10 at 12 a.m. EDT. As stated in their reports, it appeared like a bright fireball in the sky.

Eyewitnesses noted that the object stayed in the sky for about 1.5 to 7.5 seconds. The magnitude of its brightness ranged from -7 to -25, making it brighter than Venus when viewed from Earth.

Some reported that the fireball changed colors as it streaked in the sky. Although it was mostly white, eyewitnesses saw the object producing other colors such as blue and orange.

“I’ve seen lots of shooting stars, meteor showers,” an eyewitness named Julie F. from Topanga, California stated in her report. “This was the most spectacular thing I’ve ever seen fall out of the sky- it was huge and colorful and almost looked animated. A white ball, with blue and a red-orange tail.”

Some eyewitnesses noted that as the object moved across the sky, it produced a bright flash before disappearing. Those who saw the flash said they heard a booming noise that came from the direction of the object. Others stated that they spotted fragments from the object after it produced a bright flash.

Based on their descriptions, it is possible that a small meteor that collided with Earth caused the phenomena. As it went through the planet’s atmosphere, the intense heat and pressure caused it to explode in the sky, causing fragmentation and a bright flash. According to the AMS, they refer this meteor fireball as a bolide.

“A bolide is a special type of fireball which explodes in a bright terminal flash at its end, often with visible fragmentation,” the AMS explained.