Neil Zeller was out taking pictures of the northern lights just west of Calgary around 11 p.m. MT when he noticed the blaze.
Zeller says that normally, he misses shots like these because they happen so fast. But this fireball was visible for about 20 seconds.
“Once it was over, I just wanted to yell like a kid,” he said.
“It was about 45 seconds after it I was able to put the first photo up because I thought the world needed to see it.”
Zeller (@Neil_Zee) posted the pictures on Twitter, causing an immediate sensation.
There were also reports of a fireball in the skies over Utah, Nevada and parts of the Pacific Northwest.
A NASA official in Utah reportedly said it was Chinese space junk from the launch of a satellite late last year.