A burning light streaked westward across Southern California skies shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday, turning heads from San Juan Capistrano to Pasadena.
The bright blue ball was probably part of an active meteor shower above California's coast, according to the state's Office of Emergency Services.
Calls poured in to local police stations reporting everything from fireworks to a secret launch from Vandenburg Air Force Base. "We've had reports from bottle rockets to meteorites, " said Lt. Steve Foster of the California Highway Patrol.
"It was huge, huge," said Gary Gibson, who saw the streaking fireball from his home in Brea. "It looked like a huge vehicle in the sky. It was hard to tell if it was three miles away or a hundred. It was very beautiful."
Andy Hammond, acting supervisor of L.A.'s Griffith Observatory, theorized that Sunday's show was probably a meteor about the size of basketball burning up from friction as it entered Earth's atmosphere.