Many Northern Californians were fascinated on Wednesday evening when a strange yet beautiful trail of white light appeared on the darkening sky. Some believed that it may have been a trail released by a satellite that was heading towards the orbit. The actual explication is a little less exciting.
According to the Lick Observatory located in San Jose, the mysterious light was caused by a furiously burning meteor.
The spectacular meteor could be seen on the darkening sky above the Bay Area soon after the sunset. As it traveled curious people were able to observe an unusually bright trail that persisted for several minutes.
The luminosity of the trail was enhanced by the fading sun, making it particularly visible on the dark sky. Influenced by the powerful winds that blow in the superior layers of the atmosphere the shape of the trail began to curve beautifully.
The American Meteor Society also observed the phenomenon and confirmed that it was caused by a meteor. Over 45 photos were shot by fascinated people that admired the trail. Two videos were also taken by the society and they further confirm the theory.
Pictures started to appear on Twitter after the trail was spotted, with many believing that it was caused by a satellite that should have been launched from the Vanderberg Air Force Base, which is located in the northern side of Lompoc in Santa Barbara.
While a launch was planned for the evening it was canceled before the liftoff stage.
Other agencies reported that the meteor continued to travel towards the Pacific Ocean where it may have landed in the water, leaving a trail in front of the San Francisco Bay.
As the meteorite began to descend the trail was becoming even brighter. A frightened third-party even reported a possible aircraft crash but the event did not occur and the report was linked to the trail.
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.