Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


There Was A Crazy Fireball Over Los Angeles

Eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable (Photo by Scrubhiker (USCdyer) via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

Californians from Fresno to San Diego reported seeing a crazy-looking fireball streak across the sky this evening around 8 p.m.

There were a lot of fake photos being passed around (eds. note: and unfortunately one video we removed from this post was not from last night), but CBS Los Angeles found some security footage that captured the fireball:

So what's going on here? It's likely a part of a meteor shower going on that has a reputation for putting on quite a show around Halloween every year. Every year in late October and early November, the earth passes through the dust of a comet named Comet Encke. One astronomy website described the shower this way: "Although a modest shower, the Taurids can surprise you with a flamboyant fireball or two!" A meteorologist with the National Weather Service told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that's likely what us Southern Californians saw tonight.

It doesn't take much dust to put on a show. NASA describes it this way: "Tiny grains hit our atmosphere at 65,000 mph. At that speed, even a tiny smidgen of dust makes a vivid streak of light--a meteor--when it disintegrates. Because these meteors shoot out of the constellation Taurus, they're called Taurids."

Support for LAist comes from

I happened to catch a glimpse of whatever it was that streaked through the sky this evening while in Pasadena. It happened in the Northwest sky. Like a lot of people who reported seeing it, I thought I was catching the tail end of an oddly-timed fireworks display. Maybe something at the Rose Bowl or some sort of illegal fireworks? But the light was vivid enough that it didn't make sense that I couldn't make out any sort of noise above the din of the nearby Del Mar Station. The light was heading northward as it plunged. It looked more like a ball than a streak, which is just one of many reasons this photo did not pass the sniff test.

If you captured photos or video of the fireball, send it our way.