Fireball lights up sky; spotted across western U.S. - KMSP-TV

Fireball lights up sky; spotted across western U.S.

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PHOENIX -

People called into the FOX 10 Newsroom Wednesday night and wrote to us on Facebook about a fireball streaking across the sky.

It turned out to be a meteor, and it was seen in southern California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona.

Those who saw it described it just like that -- a flashing fireball with a long tail that lit up the sky.  They knew it was more than just your nightly shooting star.

It happened around 9 p.m.  I didn't get to see it, but if you are one of the lucky ones that did, you saw that incredible show in the sky and now we're learning more about that brief glow in the night sky.

The bright light streaking across the sky -- so brief, so fast -- only caught on surveillance cameras.

"I just seen a streak and was like really big.. it looked like a shooting star.. thinking too big for shooting star," sand Jennifer Peterson.

Peterson was one of the many people who happened to see the fireball in the sky as it blazed across the western United States.

"I looked up and it was going this way and I went out to the road.  By the time I got out there, it exploded..  It was huge," she said.

Steve Kates, nicknamed Dr. Sky for his love of astronomy, says this fireball was likely part of a meteorshower.

"What's so amazing about this.. probably part of a large fireball stream called the Southern Tuarids that happen every November to about 6th to 15th."

Compare this sighting to the meteor that exploded over Russia earlier this year.  That one shattered windows and left hundreds of people injured.

This one over Arizona left no injuries, no damage -- no trace behind.

"Probably the size of a ping pong ball to size of grapefruit.. not sure, but I doubt any of it reached the ground," said Kates.

Peterson is thanking her lucky stars that she was there at the right time looking up.

Did she make a wish?

"No, I didn't have time.. it was so quick.. It was super neat and I'm glad that we seen it.  I'm glad we were standing outside at that time."

As you heard, the experts are saying this is all part of the Southern Tuarids meteor showers which happen every November.  So we may have a chance to see more fireballs -- if you're lucky and looking up at the right time.

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