Hundreds of Californians reported seeing a bright light streak across the sky late Thursday. Authorities believe the sighting was a meteor. The incident comes a week after a sighting over the Bay Area , California
According to NBC Los Angeles, about 50 people contacted the American Meteor Society on Thursday, saying they saw a "green fireball" streaking across the sky. The sightings were reported in Ventura, Anaheim, Van Nuys, Los Angeles, Paso Robles, San Francisco and Santa Barbara.
According to witnesses, the incident occurred at about 10:35 p.m., with most reporting having seen a "green fireball," while others described it as white with streaks of blue.
The Daily Mail reports Leslie A. of La Crescenta told the American Meteor Society: "I actually saw flames with a trail of glowing lime green attached to it. Very large in size. We are up toward the mountains."
NBC News reports that a photographer Susan Lary, of the Southern California Weather Authority snapped a photo of the fireball shown below with with a 1-minute exposure "in Lancaster, Calif., facing southwest."
Witnesses reported seeing the fireball as far north as Sacramento and as far south as Malibu, about 400 miles apart.
The sighting comes soon after a meteorite impact in Western Siberia that injured more than 1,000. Within 24 hours of the Russian incident, residents of Bay area in northern California reported seeing a fireball streaking across the sky.
Digital Journal reported that the Bay area meteor "described by witnesses as a 'fireball' was seen making its way through the San Francisco, California sky just after 8:00 p.m. local time. The meteor was also seen in Sacramento, and as far north as Fairfield and as far south as Gilroy."
According to Digital Journal, the Russian meteorite was observed on the the same day, a 50-foot asteroid estimated to weigh 143,000 tons made a record close fly-by to Earth.
NBC News reports other fireball sightings were reported during the month in San Francisco and Florida. However, with people worrying about the frequency of sightings in recent times, scientists have said the frequency is not abnormal.
Meteor streaks over California, 21 February
Ed Krupp, director of the Los Angeles Griffith Observatory, told NBC Los Angeles: "Somewhere on the planet there is an object like that entering the planet at least once a day."
He said the the latest meteor observed in California on Thursday was probably only about the size of a basketball. He said: "What you are really seeing is a glowing column of gas. It's extremely visible because of the tremendous heat that is generated."
Lagun Hills resident Patric Barry told NBC he spotted the object out of his living room window at about 10:35 p.m.: "I saw a light and looked directly at the meteor as it came down in the ocean off Corona Del Mar. Bits came off, and it was bright white."
Southern California Weather Authority documented some witness accounts:
Brittney Mcconnell, Pleasanton, CA 22:30 PST: Between 5-10 seconds duration. Lime green color with orange trail. Sun white hot in brightness but also lime green. No fragmentation observed, just the flaming trail behind it. It wasn't heading straight down but angled at about 30 degrees. I estimate that it landed in the Pleasanton/Sunol area.
Mark S. Dobkin, Costa Mesa, CA USA, Approx. 22:30 PST: 2-3 seconds duration - I was facing West. East-West direction. Bright white ball of fire, then broke up. I was stationary in my car, so did not hear any sound. As bright as moon, but not as large. Considerably larger than Venus. Fragmentation observed. Fairly large. One of the largest I have seen.
Kris, Los Angeles, CA 22:50: 2/3 seconds duration. North-West direction. Green color, as bright as Venus. I'm curious as to what that was.
Jasmine Brown, Los Angeles, CA, U.S. 22:35: 7 seconds duration. I was facing West. It went from orange color to bright blue, heading straight down. I couldn't hear any sound. The piece itself looked as though it came off of something. It went so fast, I was pulling out of the parallel driving spot to head for work. I turned and went the other way in case it hit the ground. I've seen a few fly across but this was heading straight to the ground without disappearing in mid-air.