A California meteor led to wild speculation on Wednesday evening. Residents in southern California flooded 911 call centers with reports about a mysterious bright light streaking across the sky.
Residents in Arizona, California, Utah, and Nevada, reported the unusual light. Authorities believe the large bright light was most likely part of the South Taurid meteor shower.
As reported by CNN, the reported sighting is “consistent with a meteor shower.” San Diego Sheriff Lieutenant Michael Munsey said most of the reports came from communities in the eastern desert area.
Matthew Isaacs witnesses the light while driving. He said it appeared as a “big greenish flash” that lit up the sky. He said he initially thought it was fireworks. However, it was much larger than fireworks and was centered over a very remote location.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command weather department suspects the California meteor was part of the South Taurid meteor shower. As reported by EarthSky.org, the shower is most visible during the first weeks of November.
The shower is named after the constellation Taurus, where it appears to originate. The meteors are best viewed after midnight, away from city lights. Watchers should focus on the southwestern sky between the moon and the planet Venus. Patience is a must, as only a few meteors may appear each evening.
The beginning of November is the best time to view the South Taurids. However, the North Taurids are expected to begin on November 11 and last until the end of the month.
The meteor seen in California was likely more visible as the area is remote and the moon is currently in the thin waxing crescent stage. City lights and the moon’s phase both contribute to a meteor’s visibility and brightness.
The California meteor confused a lot of residents, but others were fortunate enough to catch the display on film. A large, bright, and colorful, meteor is quite rare.
[Image via Wikimedia]