SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — That bright light everyone was talking about last night is believed to have been a meteor — but the timing of it is what created such a dramatic image. And it had many talking about it including a group of school children at Powerhouse Science Center.
“I just wanted to know what it was, so I asked my Dad,” said one girl named Emily.
“I think it could have been a spaceship,” said another girl.
“It can’t be a spaceship. A spaceship wouldn’t have that much power,” another boy said.
Cesar Chavez fifth graders all had their own ideas about what lit up the sky Wednesday right around sunset.
“I thought it was a meteor,” said Tep Anastasia.
Experts say a meteor crashing into the earth’s atmosphere 60-70 miles up caused a noctilucent cloud.
“Which is basically a cloud that forms so high up it’s still lit up by the sun-but it looked so close,” said Caitlyn Everhart, an educator at Powerhouse Science Center in Sacramento.
Everhart showed CBS13 their meteor collection and explained meteors entering our atmosphere happen frequently “but the time of day made it more dramatic and that trail of smoke was really exciting,” said Everhart.
Walt Heiges is president of the Sacramento valley astronomical society.
“I think the sun would have lit it up,” said Heiges.
He estimates the meteor last night was the size of a baseball. He explained the phenomena we saw.
“That’s what happens when you have a bollite. A Bollite is nothing more than a comet that says ‘I am done’ shreds and goes into little pieces,” Heiges said.
Heiges knows there are those who have conspiracy theories as to whether or not the light was caused by a UFO. He says the science is pretty clear.
“We would love to hear from someone else, that’s what SETI does, but we haven’t found it yet and maybe it’s not a good thing if we do,” Heiges said.
Heiges said you could see another meteor shower Thursday night just look South to Orion.