Videos: Fireball In The Night Sky Was Just Russian Space Junk

It wasn't Santa Claus, Star Wars, an alien invasion, or another missile test. Nope—it was the Russians.

On Tuesday around 6:15 p.m., people across Southern California, Arizona and Nevada reported seeing a fireball streak across the night sky, prompting speculation over what the source of it was. Turns out it just old fashioned space junk, courtesy of the Russians. A spokeswoman for U.S. Strategic Command told the Associated Press that Russia launched an SL-4 rocket on Monday, and the fireball was a piece of the booster reentering the atmosphere.

"It went on for 10 to 15 seconds—much longer than the meteorites I'm used to seeing," Howard Acquistapace, a man who saw the fireball, told KEYT.

Last night's light show caused less of a stir than last month's missile test. The LAPD told the L.A. Times they received no calls about the fireball.