Meteors flew over Los Angeles, San Diego, and southern California on Wednesday night, prompting a flood of tweets and calls–and people in Arizona, Chicago, Nevada, Utah, and Texas also reported seeing meteors.
Thousands of people reported seeing a meteor via Twitter and other networks.
“I saw it! Huge flash of light, followed by a streak of light for a few seconds, and then it was gone. Scary but beautiful,” Russ Haigis , a San Diego resident, told Epoch Times.
“I saw the meteor it was huge and broke into three large pieces,” said another person via Twitter.
“Looked like something burning up upon entry into atmosphere, big flareup,” said Mary Slosson.
“Saw meteor in Newport Beach driving south on Pacific Coast Highway, giant blue fireball, white in center with long smoky tail, heading southwest then FLASH!” said another user on Twitter.
In addition, over 100 reported to the American Meteor Society, with reports from various areas of California–including Temecula, San Bernardino, and Chula Vista–as well as Utah, Arizona, and Nevada.
“Most brilliant white object I’ve ever seen,” said John B. from Temecula, CA. “Looked as bright as burning phosphorus.”
The National Weather Service said: “Lots of meteor sightings this evening. These are likely associated with the South Taurids [meteor shower].”
The meteor shower is well-known for having a high percentage of fireballs–or exceptionally bright meteors–according to EarthSky. Meteors are bits of rocks and ice ejected from comets as they move in their orbits about the sun.
Dr. Laura Danly, a curator at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, told CBS that what people saw was fireballs, or chunks of asteroids called meteroids.
“They’re flying into the Earth’s atmosphere and they’re burning up,” she said. “It’s kind of like when astronauts return to the Earth’s atmosphere and there is all that heat during re-entry. Same idea. These rocks are literally burning up. And that’s what you’re seeing.”
An astronomy professor at the University of California, Irvine added that the green light some people saw was oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.