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Gordon Tokumatsu, Fabian Rodriguez
NOTE: The authenticity of the still photographed used to illustrate this story could not immediately be verified. However, people up and down Southern California did see a fireball lighting up the sky Thursday night. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Griffith Observatory for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Feb. 22, 2013. Photo provided courtesy SouthernCaliforniaWeatherAuthority.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The authenticity of this photo could not immediately be verified. The story has been edited to reflect that.
A photo surfaced Friday afternoon that appeared to capture the bright light seen by dozens of Southern California sky watchers.
About 50 people contacted the American Meteor Society on Thursday with reports of a "green fireball" lighting up the sky. Sightings were reported in Ventura, Anaheim, Van Nuys, Los Angeles, Paso Robles, San Francisco and Santa Barbara, according to the group's website.
Photographer Susan Lary of the Southern California Weather Authority said she captured the so-called fireball, and provided an image to NBC News.
Lary's photograph (pictured, above) was taken with a 1-minute exposure in Lancaster, Calif., facing southwest.
"I saw a light and looked directly at the meteor as it came down in the ocean off Corona Del Mar. Bits came off, and it was bright white," Laguna Hills resident Patric Barry wrote in an email to NBC4.
Barry spotted the object out of his living room window about 10:35 p.m.
The sightings come days after Bay Area residents were treated to a light show of their own when a fireball was seen streaking across the sky. Another fireball sighting was reported this month in Florida, but the most spectacular celestial event occurred when a meteor soared over Russia before the rock slammed into Earth's surface, sending shockwaves across a widespread area.
The sightings were reported as a 150-foot asteroid estimated to weigh 143,000 tons -- dubbed 2012 DA14 -- made an historic fly-by.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated the estimated size of DA14 at 50 feet. The correct figure is 150 feet.