The University of California's Lick Observatory has come up with an explanation for an unusual sight seen above the San Francisco Bay Area in the evening of 19 December. The mysterious blazing object, which left a crooked trail of smoke in the skies, turned out to be a meteor entering Earth's atmosphere. The observatory added that the crooked shape of the trail was formed by winds at the upper levels of the atmosphere.
The glowing object, while moving across the sky, spurred an array of guesses from netizens prior to the Observatory delivering an explanation. Some of them suggested that it could have been a falling plane.
It looked like an explosion idk if it was a plane something fell red— Brenda (@xoxobrendies) December 20, 2018
Others believed that it could have been a rocket launch that went wrong.
rocket launch maybe?— Jeremy Thomas (@jeremythomas33) December 20, 2018
But that launch isn't supposed to be for another 10 minutes, so, hmmmm— Terry McGlynn (@hormiga) December 20, 2018
Certain Twitterians were closer to truth in their guesses.
this was about a minute earlier. it flashed bright green for a few seconds as it fell and appeared to split up. biggest, most impressive asteroid (?) I’ve ever seen pic.twitter.com/LkTwVnaktW— Jeremy Thomas (@jeremythomas33) December 20, 2018
Some netizens took a more humorous approach to the guessing game.
Enzoy 🥺 it’s great weather— anandbale (@anandbale08) December 20, 2018
Anyone else seeing this weird cloud in the Bay Area? Maybe the Mayan calendar was 6 years off lol pic.twitter.com/e1QZlyrXin— Matthew 🇺🇸 (@matt_dionisio) December 20, 2018
One Facebook user suggested that the trail was left by Santa Claus' sleigh flying across the sky before Christmas.
Another netizen jokingly offered to name the meteor "The Riddler" after a comic book character due to the shape of the trail resembling his famous symbol.