3:29 PM Update: Texas may also have gotten a small glimpse. See the video from Montgomery County.
People outside their homes in California and Nevada (as well as other parts of the US) were in for a terrifying light show late last night. A Star Wars-worthy space war appeared to be happening overhead. Bight flashes of light and a cluster of fiery space rocks breaking up in the night sky astonished witnesses, who shared photos and theories of an alien invasion online. It turns out the fireball was actually a Chinese rocket in its second stage of life. It is lucky that the fireball broke up in the atmosphere, so far no injuries or damage has been reported:
Although the event occurred on the 27th, there were similar fireball reports from California and Nevada a few nights prior, implying quite a bit of debris.
There is more Chinese space junk headed our way, unfortunately, and NASA cannot predict exactly when the Chinese Tiangong-1 cargo ship will be re-entering the Earth's atmosphere, but they suspect it will crash on Earth (much like this rocket) sometime this year or next. Perhaps asteroids are not the biggest threat to mankind.... perhaps it's man-made space junk?
Discuss this story (do you think this was actually a rocket or something else?) and more in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.
If you saw this meteor, report your sighting.