Floridians were treated to a bizarre sight over the weekend when a bright fireball suddenly appeared streaking across the evening sky.
The American Meteor Society (AMS) said it has received more than 200 reports from people in four different states, including Florida, regarding a ball of light seemingly burning in the sky overhead.
The non-profit scientific group believes the scene was likely caused by a meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere near Tallahassee, Florida. It is still unknown whether the space rock burned up completely upon entry or if it was able to hit the surface of the planet.
A Bright Fireball In The Sky
Witnesses claimed the fireball that appeared midnight Saturday burned so brightly that it created shadows for several seconds before eventually fizzling out.
Eric Shultz, one of the Floridians who saw the event, posted on local TV station WMBB-TV's Facebook page. He said they saw a strange light falling from the sky over Youngstown. The scene was caught on video by their home's doorbell camera.
Meanwhile, Jacksonville resident Jeffrey Cardona asked others via Twitter if they also saw the fireball. He was able to capture the scene on his car's dashboard camera.
"Can somebody explain this," Cardona wrote.
A YouTuber said they witnessed the fireball while on their way. They described the event as "pretty crazy."
Meteor Falling On Earth
The National Weather Service (NWS) detected the falling meteor as well. The fireball's flash was recorded using the Geostationary Lightning Mapper satellite, which is used to take photographs of lightning storms to help map their paths across the country.
Haley Brink, a meteorologist working for CNN, said meteors such as the one seen over the weekend happen quite fairly. However, people do not get to witness them all the time.
She explained that these scenes are starting to become more visible to the public these days courtesy of satellites in space, as well as various cameras here on Earth.
The NWS said it received unconfirmed reports of the meteor crashing somewhere near Perry, Florida. The city is located about 55 miles southeast of Tallahassee.
Experts advised residents who may come across fragments of the meteor that tests would have to be undertaken to confirm that it is indeed the space rock.
This is not the first Earth received a sudden visitor from outer space. Earlier this year, a meteor was seen burning up in the sky over western Cuba, with some pieces of the space rock reaching the ground. There were no reported cases of people getting hurt in the incident, but the explosion was said to have been heard as far away as Florida.
In August, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory reported that a meteor crashed in Greenland with a 2.1 kiloton blast. The space rock hit the ground 43 kilometers north of the United States Air Force's Thule Air Base.
Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project for the Federation of American Scientists, posted about the explosion on Twitter. However, the American military did not confirm the space rock's crash.
Kristensen raised his concern about the U.S. government's failure to issue a warning to the public regarding the meteor.
Can Somebody Explain This! #area51 #ufo #meteor @bbcnews @igersjax @news4jax @abcnews #news #newsjax #shootingstars #jacksonvilleflorida ️ pic.twitter.com/P28wp5tkGE — Jeffrey Cardona (@jeffreycardona1) March 31, 2019
Did you see it? A meteor was caught on GOES Lightning Mapper (GLM) around 3:52Z or 11:52 PM ET! pic.twitter.com/6FnUCN83EJ — NWS Tallahassee (@NWSTallahassee) March 31, 2019