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Thousands spot mysterious light in Southwest sky

By Ritika Sharma Subscribe to RSS | December 16th 2011 | Views:
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Was the spectacular multi-colored light spotted in the skies above Southwest United States an alien spaceship or a galaxy exploding? Well, scientists say that it was probably just a fragment of an asteroid.

A mysterious flare of colorful light darting across the skies Wednesday night, was witnessed by thousands in Southwest part of United States.

After ruling out that the brilliant light was space junk falling back to Earth or of an aircraft incident, NASA scientists said the phenomenon was probably caused by a meteor, a piece of asteroid that had entered Earth's atmosphere.

Don Yeomans, who heads NASA's Near-Earth Object Program, explained, "We're virtually certain this bright display was caused by a meteor, probably the size of a baseball or basketball that burned up in Earth's atmosphere. It appeared much larger because of the heated and glowing atmosphere along its path.”

"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, head NASA's Near-Earth Object Program.

Speculations rife:- Residents of the areas around California, Arizona and Nevada began calling local authorities and media houses, reporting that they saw a mysterious burning object moving swiftly from west to east at around 7:45 p.m.

Wednesday night’s sighting prompted sky watchers to take to the social media and tweet about their speculations.

“Another famous UFO sighting over so cal government tries to play it off saying it was an asteroid!” wrote mistercobi.

“It can't be a meteor! Hovered for 15mins then 2nd appeared travelling horizontally!” tweeted PlanetFlipside.

Scientific explanation:- Some of the eyewitnesses described the light as bluish-green while others said the flash was yellow and orange.

According to Yeomans, the bluish green color indicates the meteor contained nickel or magnesium, while orange suggests the object was penetrating the atmosphere at a relatively slow speed, but was still traveling a few miles per second. A mysterious flare of colorful light darting across the skies Wednesday night, was witnessed by thousands in Southwest part of United States. After ruling out that the brilliant light was space junk falling back to Earth or of an aircraft incident, NASA scientists said the phenomenon was probably caused by a meteor, a piece of asteroid that had entered Earth's atmosphere.

Explaining further, he said fireballs from asteroids tend to enter Earth's atmosphere pretty often, but since it happens usually over the ocean or in a sparsely populated area, they remain unsighted. This time, fortunately it provided a harmless but stunning display of a magnificent light show for people in many cities and towns. Residents of the areas around California, Arizona and Nevada began calling local authorities and media houses, reporting that they saw a mysterious burning object moving swiftly from west to east at around 7:45 p.m.

"It's sort of Mother Nature's shot across the bow," said Don Yeomans. "It's an impressive light show, one of Mother Nature's best."

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