People in Florida who were outside Monday at around 11:15 p.m. were treated to an amazing sight of a huge fireball streaking through the sky and exploding in a large flash.
Fortunately, police dashcams from Venice and North Port police departments and a home security camera managed to capture videos of the fireball, and the American Meteor Society compiled them in one video, as seen above. It was posted in a report on the AMS website, along with heat maps of the location of the witnesses.
A fireball is a very bright meteor that has the same brightness as the planet Venus in the morning or evening sky, according to the AMS. A fireball that explodes in a bright terminal flash at its end, such as this one, is called a bolide.
"Never seen anything like that before," ABC 7 meteorologist Josh Stone, who saw it out his window, told WWSB. "Looked as bright as the sun. Heard a little rumbling after it faded away."
ABC News reported that the estimated trajectory of the fireball was from the southeast to the northwest and ended over the sea east of Anna Maria Island off the coast of Manatee County, Florida.
The AMS received more than 160 reports of the fireball with the majority coming from Florida, but some people in Georgia and Alabama reported seeing it, too.
WWSB described the event this way: "At 11:18 PM Monday night a meteor the size of a baseball entered the earths atmosphere moving at about 40,000 mph. The frozen water and carbon dioxide rapidly expanded as the rock ball heated and the meteor vaporized into a spectacular fireball illumination the night sky."
In the security video from Christopher Scruby of Largo, Florida, a smaller piece of the meteor can be seen coming down at the left of the fireball.
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