Friday, April 28, 2017

Meteor Streaks Over South Florida Night Sky

The two bright lights in the upper left of the photo appear to be the fireball breaking up in this view from Miami. Photo from Craig Setzer

A fireball streaked across the South Florida sky overnight, according to multiple reports. By 4 a.m. Wednesday, the American Meteor Society received nearly 50 reports about the flaming streak in the night sky. A meteorologist at CBS Miami also recorded video, the station’s website said.

The object was likely a meteor breaking up in the atmosphere. It was visible from the Keys to Port St. Lucie on the east coast and as far north as Tampa on the west coast, reports said.

Among those who spotted and were able to record the fireball was Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Evan Calhoun. He was on patrol in the Lower Keys, on Big Pine Key, shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday when his dashcam unit taped the meteor as it streaked across the night sky.

NASA said the eyewitness reports indicated a slow moving object with a speed around 22,000 miles-per-hour moving across the sky.

Bill Cooke with the Meteoroid Environments Office at Marshall Space Flight Center, said the object appeared to follow a shallow trajectory at an altitude of 50 miles and traveled just over 87 miles through the atmosphere before breaking up.

Cooke told CBS12 he couldn't be 100 percent sure, but the characteristics seen on video are typical of a man-made object burning up.

A similar object was spotted in the northern part of the state in November 2016, according to ABC News.


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