Bright flashes of light lit up the sky in California on Wednesday night, setting social meteor ablaze with what were likely long-lasting meteor streams known as the South Taurids, according to experts that spoke to USA Today.

Residents flooded 911 call centers with concerns about a mysterious, fast-moving streak of light that caused them to wonder if it could have been a meteor.

"We've gotten numerous phone calls of people reporting seeing something bright - consistent with a meteor shower - over the eastern desert communities of San Diego," Lt. Michael Munsey of the San Diego Sheriff's Department said.

According to meteorologists, it might have been. The North American Aerospace Defense Command weather department says that the lights were likely caused by part of a meteor shower.

Sightings were reported as far away as Arizona, Utah and Nevada, according to CNN affiliate KCBS.

The Taurids are part of an annual meteor shower that is linked to the disintegration of a comet that occurred tens of thousands of years ago. They are known for their exceptionally bright meteors that often appear around Halloween, and are nicknamed Halloween fireballs as a result.

The shower generally shoots up to 10 meteors across the sky in an hour, according to the American Meteor Society. They move at a relatively slow pace of approximately 18 miles per hour. The shower is generally easy to see because the moon and Venus set before it begins, leaving the sky dark and providing a stark contrast, according to

The South Taurids precede the North Taurids by approximately a week. The North Taurids will peak around November 12. Both meteors result from the dust and ice debris left behind by a comet. The particles burn up when they hit the Earth's atmosphere, creating the bright lights.

For anyone concerned about a meteor crashing into Earth, according to Bill Cooke of NASA, you can relax. Cooke heads the office that tracks meteors that may come close to spacecraft, potentially damaging it. There are only a small number of impacts with Earth, Cooke says.

Video of the South Taurids over Southern California.