Mysterious Light Dazzles Southwest

Object streaking across sky probably a fireball, NASA says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2011 3:00 AM CDT
Updated Sep 15, 2011 6:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – A mysterious blue-green streak of light was spotted moving across the sky over the US Southwest last night, prompting a flood of 911 calls from Phoenix to Los Angeles, CNN reports. There were no reports of impact or damage and NASA says it believes the object was probably a fireball caused by a fragment of an asteroid falling to Earth.

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"We can't say 100%," but the object was almost certainly a fireball or a meteor small enough to have disintegrated before it hit the ground, the chief of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program tells the AP. The bluish-green color, he says, was probably caused by magnesium or nickel inside the asteroid fragment. "They make an impressive show for such a small object," he says. "It's a natural phenomenon and nothing to be concerned about." (Read more NASA stories.)

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