t’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a… mystery?
On Tuesday night, an “unidentified” bright light was spotted whizzing across the sky over California and Nevada.
Dazzled by the sight, witnesses promptly took to Twitter to opine over its source. Was it a shooting star? A missile? A UFO?
Some speculated that the light might be a shooting star from the Geminid meteor shower, which began on Dec. 4. However, the Geminid shower was expected to peak around Dec. 13 and end on the 17th.
Several aviation and weather officials said the light was not an aircraft, BuzzFeed reported. Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, told the news outlet that he had “no idea” what the object was. McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas also confirmed that it was “not a plane.”
As KTLA-TV noted, the unidentified flying object bore similarities to one spotted in the California sky in November. In that case, the light was from an unarmed test missile fired by the U.S. Navy.
UPDATE (12/23, 1:15 a.m. ET): Julie Ziegenhorn, a spokeswoman with U.S. Strategic Command, told NBC News that the “streaking fireball” was Russian space debris.
The light, said Ziegenhorn, was “caused by a Russian SL-4 rocket body that reentered the atmosphere somewhere above Arizona.”
The rocket had been launched on Dec. 21.
Earlier on HuffPost: