What was that bright light that streaked across the sky?

What was that bright light that streaked across the sky?
File photo of a fireball that streaked across the sky in 2012. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

PORTLAND, Ore. - If you believe in the unexplained and thought a bright light you saw in the sky early Wednesday morning might be a UFO filled with aliens, we're sorry to inform you that it most likely wasn't.

And if we've bummed you out, read no further.

But if you're curious, here's the deal:

That light in the sky, spotted just before 6 a.m., was actually a very bright meteor called a 'fireball,' at least that's what the experts are saying.

The American Meteor Society is looking into it and would like anyone who saw the fireball to submit a detailed report. They want to know how bright it was, the distance it appeared to travel across the sky, the color and how long it was visible.

According to Jim Todd, Director of Space Science Education at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI), there are several thousand meteor fireballs in the Earth's atmosphere each day. He said we don't see them very often because they usually happen over oceans or uninhabited areas, or are masked by daylight.

But once in a while a bright one will be visible, like the one that folks saw Wednesday morning.

"It was just amazing to see," Charlotte V. of Wilsonville, Oregon, reported. "It seemed to come out of nowhere as we were gazing out the window at the stars and suddenly it was streaking across the sky so BIG and long tail. Gorgeous!"

"It was by far the longest lasting shooting star I've ever seen!! Pretty cool," said Thomas S. in Gladstone, Oregon.

"Moved across roughly 35 miles of my sight in about 8-10 seconds. No trail, no sound, very incredible sight," John C. in Gresham, Oregon, reported.

"The duration was quite phenomenal," Jeffery K. in Salem said. "It went across a vast portion of the sky."