San Francisco -- A fireball lit up the predawn Northern California sky Thursday, according to reports from early risers.The possible meteor was reported about 5:25 a.m. by people across California and as far away as Fernley, Nev., about 30 miles east of Reno."Wow, what a sight to have seen!" David Rivas of Seaside (Monterey County) wrote in an e-mail to The Chronicle.
He said he and his wife saw the streak as they were driving on Highway 1 north of Monterey. "It first appeared as a quick movement of sorts, maybe similar to a shooting star or quick lightning strike off to the east."Then, Rivas said, "it grew into "something shaped like a giant orange crayon."
Others described what they had seen on the American Meteor Society website
"This was a remarkable sighting," Carol L. of Fairfield wrote. "I have a long drive to work and see shooting stars not infrequently, but this was brighter and significantly longer than any I have seen before."
Kai L. of Livermore commented on the website, "I have done a considerable amount of stargazing in my 41 years on this earth and I have never seen anything this bright in the sky (besides the sun and the moon). I was completely stunned."
Dave G. of Long Beach called it "a spectacular moment that you wish there was instant replay for."
This isn't the first cosmic sighting in the region. On Oct. 17, a monster fireball lit up the skies, and several chunks of it - meteorites - were later found in the Novato area.