Youtube screenshot
This screen grab from a video posted on YouTube by the American Meteor Society purports to show a greenish fireball streaking through the sky over southern California.

California fireball has witnesses alight with excitement

On the evening of Nov. 6, the American Meteor Society recorded 156 fireball sightings from California and surrounding states.

A meteor that toured the Southwest’s big skies on Monday has witnesses alight with excitement about the fireball’s bold show of light and color. Astronomers said that the meteor is from the South Taurids meteor shower, which is visible from Earth around Halloween each year.

On Nov. 6, The American Meteor Society recorded 156 fireball sightings from Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah, most of them from between 7 and 9 pm, PST, the organization said.

On the organization’s public log of “fireball” sightings, witnesses described a meteor that lit up the evening skies and ground with bright flashes of blue, red, and white light. Witness reported that the meteor was in brightness, size, and, for a moment, apocalyptic drama, unlike any other meteor to cruise their skies.

“[It] was a very disturbing event to observe as it was unlike anything I've ever experienced,” said one witness, Katie R., from Stevenson Ranch, California.

“It almost looked like an actual fire in the sky,” said a witness from Ceres, California.

“It was an amazing sight,” said another, from Phoenix, Arizona, “not the average shooting star.”

The North American Aerospace Defense Command weather department told CNN that, chances are, Southwestern stargazers saw a meteor from the South Taurids meteor shower.

The shower, which appears to radiate from the constellation Taurus, is most visible in late October and November and reaches its apex between Nov. 5 and Nov. 12, according to The North Taurids shower is visible later, from late Oct. to mid Dec., and as a collective the two showers are often called “Halloween fireballs,” for their well-timed arrival in a season of spooks and scares.

The last meteor sighting that numerous witnesses reported to The American Meteor Society was on Oct. 30, when 360 people in the northwestern US reported a meteor also of unusual brightness and size

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