Blazing UFO sparks panic as it shoots across 250 miles of night sky above California
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Posted 16 September 2011 - 07:33 AM
When a streak of fire blazed through the air above southern California, people could have been forgiven for thinking the Earth was under attack. Thousands saw it from Phoenix in Arizona to Las Vegas and Los Angeles and local authorities were swamped with reports of ball of flame in the night sky. One witness said: 'It was huge. It had a green glow in front of it and a white tail. It looked like green fireworks going across the sky.'
But experts have revealed the phenomenon was most likely a fireball - a fragment of an asteroid that entered Earth's atmosphere. The light was seen shooting quickly from west to east at around 7.45pm PDT, or 2.45am GMT. Many reported it as bluish-green and others as yellow and orange. Some captured video of the object.
NASA scientist Don Yeomans, who runs the agency's Near-Earth Object Program, said: 'We can't say 100 per cent, but it's almost certain that the object was a fireball or very bright meteor the size of a basketball or baseball that likely disintegrated before it hit the ground.'
According to Mr Yeomans, the bluish-green colour suggests the object had some magnesium or nickel in it. He added that orange is usually an indication it is entering earth's atmosphere at several miles per second, a moderate rate of speed. 'They make an impressive show for such a small object,' Mr Yeomans said.
Suspect 'UFO' Most Likely a Meteor, NASA says
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