Some lucky people in California caught sight of an epic fireball streaking across the sky Wednesday night. It lingered, and then broke up into multiple bright pieces.
This wasn’t a typical meteor. The American Meteor Society quickly analyzed the information. “Based on the reports and videos we received about this event, we can confirm that it wasn’t a natural fireball but rather a space debris reentry,” the AMS said in a statement Thursday.
AMS/AllSky6 camera operator Bob Lunsford captured a great view of the action from El Cajon, California. AllSkyCams is a network dedicated to tracking meteors.
The AMS collected more than 60 reports from eyewitnesses. “Never saw anything like this in my life. Crazy,” one person said.
The sighting sent the hashtag #meteor soaring on Twitter as viewers shared their videos. Twitter user Stan Moroncini reported that it lasted at least 20 seconds.
The shooting star also prompted some Transformers jokes about the Autobots arriving on Earth.
Our planet is surrounded by a lot of, some of which finds its way back into the atmosphere where it can burn up and deliver quite a light show. For the record, no Autobots were found.