Mysterious flash of light spotted over Los Angeles not a meteor after all

By Caitlin O'Kane

/ CBS News

Meteor in Michigan

A ball of light that fell from the sky over Los Angeles on Wednesday evening caused quite a stir on social media. Hours later, the LAPD set the record straight – it wasn't a meteor, but something very "Hollywood."

"What is this flying item on fire above downtown Los Angeles?" tweeted Dennis Hegstad, whose video of the mysterious light was viewed nearly 2 million times.

Several other people took video of the stream of fire that streaked across Downtown L.A., assuming it was a meteor. A slew of residents chimed in that they too saw the shooting star.

Did anyone else see that meteor over Downtown Los Angeles?? #crazy

— Ellis (@elliseckles) March 21, 2019

Omg yes! I saw something just moments ago! Is that what it was ☄️ huge! In the eastern sky near #dtla #LAMeteor

— DeuceKat (@DeuceKat) March 21, 2019

"Did anyone else see a meteor fly over downtown LA and the six helicopters surrounding it currently?! Y'all peepin that?!" someone tweeted. The LAPD finally jumped into the conversation – explaining the "meteor" and possibly the helicopters one person reported seeing.

"PSA: A meteor did not crash into Downtown Los Angeles, and no, it's not an alien invasion…just a film shoot. This is Tinseltown after all," the LAPD wrote.

PSA: A meteor did not crash into Downtown Los Angeles, and no, it's not an alien invasion…just a film shoot. This is Tinseltown after all. pic.twitter.com/6QFY3uHbrt

— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) March 21, 2019

A confirmed meteor shower already fell across the Northern Hemisphere this year, and more are expected. The Quadrantids, which have been known to produce some 50-100 meteors in a dark sky, were visible in January. Shooting stars should be visible next month as the Lyrid meteor shower is expected to occur between April 16 to 25, EarthSky reports.

First published on March 21, 2019 / 1:58 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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