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'Green fireball' over Southern California caught on camera

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An authentic photo surfaced Friday afternoon capturing 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 captured the so-called fireball and provided the image to NBC News.

Lary's photograph 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.

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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 50-foot asteroid estimated to weigh 143,000 tons -- dubbed 2012 DA14 -- made an historic fly-by.