Fireball? Meteor? UFO? Space junk?
None of those, says NASA, who declared that the flash probably was a “near-earth asteroid” no bigger than a basketball that streaked across the sky and then incinerated before hitting the ground.
“It's sort of Mother Nature's shot across the bow... It's an impressive light show, one of Mother Nature's best,” Don Yeomans, a Jet Propulsion Laboratory Fellow who manages NASA's Near Earth Object Program, told the Los Angeles Times.
Yeomans said pieces of asteroids that enter the Earth’s atmosphere typically are unseen because they are over the ocean. This one, though, was visible enough that some even captured it on video: