a picture of the fireball seen over California last night
Sightings of a fireball streaking through the sky have been reported this evening up and down the Central Valley and in the Bay Area.

"We've had a lot of calls about people who have seen a big fireball," said Stefanie Henry, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. "The speculation is that it's part of the Orionid meteor shower that peaks about Oct. 21."

People reported seeing the fireball between about 7:45 and 7:55 p.m. Henry said the reports were of a single fireball.

The cause of the fireball had not been confirmed, she said, and stressed that meteorologists are not experts on meteor showers.

An article from Astronomy Magazine on the website astronomy.com says the peak for this year's Orionid meteor shower is to occur during the night Saturday.

Orionid meteors originate from debris left behind by Halley's Comet during its passage through the solar system and are said to be among the fastest of all shower meteors, striking the earth's upper atmosphere at 148,000 mph.