Skip to main content

Was that a meteor over Southern California?

From Chuck Johnston, CNN
November 7, 2013 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bright light in the sky spooks many in Southern California
  • NORAD says it was most likely a meteor
  • San Diego deputy says they received many calls about it

(CNN) -- Southern California residents flooded 911 centers Wednesday night with calls about a mysterious, fast-moving streak of light in the sky.

Was it a meteor?, they wondered.

The answer, according to meteorologists, is maybe.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command weather department says the streak of light that caused consternation from many most likely was part of a meteor shower.

"We've gotten numerous phone calls of people reporting seeing something bright—consistent with a meteor shower---over the eastern desert communities of San Diego," said Lt.Michael Munsey of the San Diego Sheriff's Department.

There were sightings as far away as Arizona, Utah and Las Vegas, CNN affiliate KCBS reported. And someone even claimed on YouTube that he captured footage of the streak of light.

Matthew Isaacs, from Mission Viejo, said he was driving when he saw the flash of light.

"I saw this big, greenish flash like, light up the sky. It was headed pretty sideways from like, east to west. I thought, 'Is that a firework?' And then I realized, that couldn't be that big. It's just in the middle of nowhere in a totally dark area where there's no houses or anything where anyone would shoot fireworks. I thought, 'Man, it must have been a meteor,'" Isaacs told KCBS.

The light most likely came from the South Taurids meteor showers.

These meteors are generally the most visible in the first half of November, the American Meteor Society says.

Meteor lights up East Coast -- and social media

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Space
November 15, 2014 -- Updated 2119 GMT (0519 HKT)
It's hard to top the tricky, first-ever landing on a comet but we'll try. Here are 11 other space missions to know about.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 2227 GMT (0627 HKT)
November 2014 may well be remembered as the time when humanity first landed a robotic probe on the nucleus of a comet.
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 2321 GMT (0721 HKT)
Add another entry to the growing list of crazy footage captured by GoPro cameras.
November 1, 2014 -- Updated 1700 GMT (0100 HKT)
It is in our DNA to explore the unknown. But pushing boundaries and exploring space is far from easy.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1542 GMT (2342 HKT)
If there's one thing we've learned about the CNN iReport community, it's that you all love to capture celestial events.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1958 GMT (0358 HKT)
It was the closest comet near-miss known to astronomers, but everything is alright.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 1304 GMT (2104 HKT)
It wasn't a trick. But for space geeks, it sure was a treat.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 0025 GMT (0825 HKT)
Want to ride an elevator into space? A breakthrough in nanotechnology could mean we will be riding into space on a cable made of diamonds.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 1752 GMT (0152 HKT)
Astronauts lie motionless in a row of compartments with medical monitoring cables connected to their bodies, as their space ship cuts through the silent blackness.
September 20, 2014 -- Updated 1929 GMT (0329 HKT)
This image from the Hubble Space Telescope indicates that a huge ring of dark matter likely exists surrounding the center of CL0024+17 that has no normal matter counterpart.
Scientists are closer to seeing a vast, invisible universe as a spectrometer in Earth orbit picks up possible clues of dark matter.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
The Soviets sent stray dogs up to conquer space. This is what happened next
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)
Scientists believe that a hot gas bubble was formed by multiple supernovas.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1547 GMT (2347 HKT)
Robonaut is the next generation dexterous robot
Life aboard the International Space Station.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0153 GMT (0953 HKT)
NASA's New Horizons mission hurtles toward Pluto in historic 3 billion mile expedition.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 0356 GMT (1156 HKT)
Scientists looking for signs of life in the universe -- as well as another planet like our own -- are a lot closer to their goal than people realize.
June 29, 2014 -- Updated 1551 GMT (2351 HKT)
If you think you saw a flying saucer over Hawaii, you might not be crazy -- except what you saw didn't come from outer space, though that may be its ultimate destination.
June 13, 2014 -- Updated 1421 GMT (2221 HKT)
When I first poked my head inside Virgin Galactic's newest spaceship, I felt a little like I was getting a front-row seat to space history.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
From a sheep ranch in Western Australia comes the oldest slice of Earth we know.
ADVERTISEMENT