Sunday afternoon (11/20) while I puttered around the house watching football, drinking beer, and making an entirely unhealthy gameday lunch, I received a group text message from my brother-in-law Brett that included a really cool video clip.

Originally from Laurel, he and his wife Jenny have lived in Helena for decades. Brett is a pretty quiet man. Not much of a talker, generally. But he had me talking when he shared this awesome clip of a bright fireball streaking across the Big Sky early Sunday morning.

And here's another angle.

Caught on a doorbell camera.

He received a notification from his doorbell camera at 4:11 AM Sunday morning. You can see a brilliant fireball shoot across the upper right corner of the screen at approximately the seven-second mark. The camera angle is obviously low, and the fireball only appears for a moment as it streaks past the view (looking north). It appeared to light up the sky though as it passed, as you can see everything brighten as whatever it was burned up in the atmosphere. I imagine it was fairly spectacular if we could see the entire sky in the video.

Max Pixel
Max Pixel

Not aliens. Probably.

As much as our imaginations run wild, the bright flash seen over Montana early Sunday morning was probably not an alien craft, plunging to Earth to set up camp and take over mankind.

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The Annual Perseid Meteor Shower
Getty Images

Meteor or space junk?

The Leonid meteor shower was forecasted to peak around November 18th this year. This fireball seems a little too bright to be a speck of comet dust though. My guess would be a large piece of space debris re-entering the atmosphere, like maybe an old satellite or something. Ah yes, space junk. It never really goes away (unless it burns up). It just gets broken into smaller and smaller bits.

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