Mysterious lights in the sky dazzle parts of country

Mysterious lights in the sky dazzle parts of country

The fireball in the sky over California. (Photo: Ian Norman)

CALIFORNIA — It was big, bright and mysterious – the perfect recipe for a social media frenzy.

A set of lights streaked across the sky in the southwest portion of the country late Wednesday night.

The fireball exploded into several pieces in the night sky over California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado.

Many people on social media hypothesized the lights were from a meteor or missile or even aliens.

But the National Weather Center in Salt Lake City splashed cold water on those theories.

It was just space junk re-entering the atmosphere.

Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said the space junk was a Chinese rocket burning through the sky.

Other users posted their videos and photos of the lights on social media.