California UFO
The mysterious fireball over California sky sparked UFO sighting rumours YouTube screengrab

A mysterious fireball spotted in the skies of California and Las Vegas has been confirmed to be nothing but the debris of a Russian spacecraft. The glowing object was visible for a few minutes before it disappeared.

With Christmas around the corner, many people related the sighting on the evening of 22 December to Christmas and assumed it to be Santa's sleigh, while others believed it to be an unidentified flying object. However, scientists burst the bubble and said it was Russian space debris.

US Strategic Command spokeswoman Julie Ziegenhorn confirmed to AP that the mysterious object was nothing but a part of an SL-4 rocket body booster from Russia, which was launched on 21 December. "It's not something people need to worry about," David Wright, a space debris expert and co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientists, told the news agency.

Many people recorded or captured the flying object and posted it on social media, speculating it to be Santa's sleigh, a meteor or an UFO.

Earlier, it was also speculated that the object was a part of the Ursid meteor shower crashing on Earth.