On the night of Wednesday, November 6th, residents throughout Central and Southern California started reporting sightings of bright flashes and lights in the sky across Twitter and Facebook social media streams.
In fact, the lights were so bright and shocking that drivers pulled over along the freeways and roadways to get a better look at the astonishing lights in the sky. Some residents described it as a fireball, and one resident told the National UFO Center that it “looked like something burning up upon entry into the atmosphere”.
Other residents called in their reports to local media sources. One resident quoted only as “Jonathan” told NBC4 that, “I saw the meteor. It was huge and broke into three large pieces.” Another viewer by the name of “George” told NBC4 that the object “burned in the atmosphere with a trail of debris”.
By nearly all accounts, the light streaking across the sky was far brighter than anything these California residents were accustomed to seeing in the night sky.
National Weather Service Provides an Answer
Once the entire event was over, about 215 witnesses had reported seeing the huge fireball burning up in the sky over Southern California. In fact, the event was so bright that there were even reports from Arizona, Utah and Nevada. According to the American Meteor Society, the meteor entered Earth’s atmosphere just over San Diego County in California, and then traveled on a southwest trajectory, hitting land somewhere near Lake Henshaw.
Videos of the event showed a very bright, flashing fireball traveling across the night sky.
The National Weather Service reported that the sightings started at about 8 p.m. on November 6th, and were probably connected with the South Taurids meteor shower that is typically active during the first part of November. During the event, most of the reported sightings came in from Twitter feeds – making Twitter the most common reporting platform for this event.
Interestingly, it was only a few days earlier, on October 30, that over 300 people reported seeing a similar fireball streaking across the skies over Southwestern Canada. Again, that event was connected to a possible meteor.
The American Meteor Society provided an impressive mapping of all witness accounts, including the reported location and a map key that detailed the type of sounds heard, and the direction the object was reported as traveling.
This event could be the result of more people watching the skies after the Russian meteor explosion, a social phenomenon that Gabrielle described in a post in early 2013. Or, could it be that these events are actually picking up in frequency?
Actually, in August, Dennis posted about how there could potentially be another meteor explosion in our near future, considering the odds. Dennis quoted a number of experts who agreed.
Whether or not such an event is a potential in the near future, one thing that’s for certain is that unless humans on Earth develop a defense system capable of detecting and protecting the planet from incoming asteroids or meteors, there is little we can do to change the fact that we are completely vulnerable to the whims of these cosmic invaders.