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Strange' Light Seen in Oregon Sky, But Experts Cite Earthly Origins

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"Lit up like a fireball."

This image was taken in the sky near Oregon's Mt. Hood Wednesday morning. (Image source: KATU-TV)

As the sun was rising in the sky above Oregon Wednesday, residents reported seeing a strange, flame-colored ball of light followed by a streak.

light in oregon sky This image was taken in the sky near Portland, Ore.,Wednesday morning. (Image source: KATU Facebook)

A woman from Beaverton told KPTV-TV she saw a "strange line in the sky" that had a "trail behind it" and "lit up like a fireball."

Some speculated it could have been the result of a meteor, but Jim Todd, planetarium manager at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry who initially thought it could have been a fireball too, told KOMO-TV further analysis of photos suggested it was a jet contrail.

light in sky oregon An expert initially thought it was the result of an exploding fireball, resulting from a meteor, but he later said it was likely part of a jet contrail. (Image source: Karl Kaiser/KATU Facebook)

According to KATU, Todd previously said that the image had all the signs of a fireball -- long smoke plume and the sign of an explosion -- but if this were the source, he said it was missing a sonic boom.

Watch this report from KATU with footage of the scene:

The light reflected by the sun likely caused an illusion making a jet contrail look more dramatic and similar to what could be left by a meteor.

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