© Stock image/St. George News
St. George — Reports came in to the Utah Highway Patrol Cedar City Dispatch Center Friday describing a fireball streaking across the sky south of SunRiver St. George just before 7:30 a.m.

A fireball occurs when a meteor enters Earth's atmosphere and burns brightly before being consumed by the fire, and is defined by the American Meteor Society as an object that is brighter than the planet Venus.

The American Meteor Society received reports from three observers in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, Flagstaff, Arizona, and Pahrump, Nevada, of a fireball about the same time as the Southern Utah sighting. San Diego-based Robert Lunsford, the report coordinator for the AMS, said it was probably the same object, but it likely burned up in the atmosphere before hitting the ground.

"Normally, something that would actually make it to the ground would be awfully bright and last a long time," Lunsford said. "We would probably have a lot more reports if it actually made it to the ground."

The Lake Havasu City observer's report said the fireball lasted about 2 seconds, Lunsford said. His report read, in part, "Not sure if it was a 'fireball.' Basically it looked like a very thick and very bright shooting star during daylight hours, brighter than Venus and brighter than a full moon."

The report went on to say, "Never seen anything like it my whole life. The trail and length of visibility could have been longer but I didn't see it until it came into view of my windshield. "

The Pahrump observer wrote, "I was driving east, the sun was just about to crest over Mt. Charleston, when the meteor appeared at the top of the windshield. At first I thought it was a plane that was flaring in the morning light, but as it streaked lower and fizzled, I knew I had just seen something pretty cool!"