I had a few minutes free today, so went back to the original image and took a closer look.
First, there's direct evidence that the cloud on the left is
assosciated with the bright streaks.
In general, aerial objects of the same color are usually at the same distance from he viewer, due to the effects of
. This can be seen
here, where I've highlighted several colors; every pixel in those areas are the same exact color, and you'll notice that those colors don't appear
anywhere else in the sky:
Now, I've used the same approach to highlight the area of interest, showing the pixels in the cloud which are matched in the flames; these colors do
not appear anywhere else in the image:
This could mean:
1. The cloud and flame are about the same distance from the viewer.
2. The cloud is relecting the flames (but that should also mean they are fairly close together).
3. The cloud and flames have similar composition (for instance, the cloud and the area around the flames could be smoke from the same source).
Then, I took a closer look at the 'flame' area using individual RBG channels to bring out any special details. The blue channel shows "hot spots"
which are washed out in the red and green channels, along with a strong hint of smoke around and behind the flame areas. I believe those spots mark
the location of white-hot chunks of burning material surrounded by and trailing red and green (ie, yellow) flames.
The red and green channels clearly show what appears to be a glowing gas or flume trailing behind the flames.
one_small_step, I think you caught a meteor (or satellite, perhaps) fragmenting very high in the atmosphere while travelling almost directly away from
the camera. From your description, it may have been a 'grazer' which bounced off the atmosphere initially, creating the cloud, then reentering and
breaking up a bit farther along before either bouncing out and escaping the Earth, or, more likely, burning up completely.