ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A large and very bright fireball meteor lit up the night sky above Tampa Bay and a good part of Florida Wednesday evening.
Its was seen by quite a few people. More than 70 reports have been filed with the American Meteor Society as of Thursday morning.
The fireball flared across the sky about 9:50 p.m. and appeared to be viewable for about six seconds. Witnesses said the fireball emitted an incredibly bright light.
At the tee ball game above in Jacksonville, Jonathan Tidwell says the crowd went wild. Tidwell says, “I heard people saying What!!! Where!!!? Is that a UFO!? Did you see that? That’s so cool!!”
The fireball was seen across much of Florida as far south as Naples to Ft. Lauderdale and north up to Jacksonville.
Fireball is an astronomical term for an exceptionally bright meteor that is spectacular enough to to be seen over a very wide area. Meteors, or shooting stars, are the visible paths of meteoroids that have entered the Earth’s atmosphere at high velocities.
A meteor is what happens when a small piece of an asteroid or comet, called a meteoroid, burns up upon entering Earth’s atmosphere. Objects causing fireball events can exceed three 3 feet in size.
Fireballs that explode in the atmosphere are technically referred to as bolides.
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