An enigmatic bright light that was spotted flecking across the skies over Southern California a few days ago, appearing all over social media platforms on Wednesday night, remained a mystery even a day later, as experts have been notified about the event.
Mike Hankey, an operations manager at the American Meteor Society, told the Los Angeles Times that the object, which most likely seemed to shatter into pieces as it entered Earth’s atmosphere, was probably space junk. However, he stated that he is not sure at all. Hankey’s guess was founded on the time in which the object was visible, the speed it was moving at, and the way it broke apart.
It’s more likely to be space debris than a weird, rogue, super-slow asteroid,” he told the Los Angeles Times. He said solid rock breaking up usually involves “a big ball that blows up. Here, there was nothing like that. There’s no burst. It more just sort of falls apart, which is also very characteristic of a space object like a satellite or rocket engine or something like that.”
More about the strange bright object seen over Southern California
People located in Santa Barbara and all the way to southern San Diego county have spotted and captured the mysterious object on video Wednesday evening. A captured footage of the enigmatic object from a person in San Diego depicted streaking lights as it shattered into numerous smaller pieces and vanished from people’s sight.
Paul Lynam, an astronomer from the Lick Observatory based in Northern California, agreed that it probably was a small segment of space debris that was only several inches long.
“The typical shooting star you see is only like a grain of sand most of the time,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a good demonstration of the physical forces at work when you see these spectacular things.”
Doretha Kilgore is an associate editor for The Trending Times, focused on viral/trending stories. Before joining The Trending Times, she contributed to Vice, onlyWomen many others. She has a master of journalism from NYU. She is based in NYC, and can be reached via her email or our contact form.