LOOK: Giant Fireball in Florida Sparks Fear of Alien Invasion
At around 11 p.m. on Nov. 23, people from Key West to the Florida Panhandle witnessed a massive burning fireball streaking across the Florida sky. Residents panicked, thinking that the super bright meteor was extraterrestrial life landing on Earth for an alien invasion.
According to a report, the incident prompted a lot of calls from terrified residents who saw the giant fireball. The reporte noted that more than 100 people saw the blazing meteor, one of which was TV meteorologist Josh STone of ABC 7.
"Never seen anything like that before,…..looked as bright as the sun….heard a little rumbling after it faded away," Stone said.
The North Point Police Department in west Florida even captured the rare meteorological event on their dashboard cameras, taking videos of the giant fireball.
"The meteor began 46 miles above the Gulf of Mexico and 8 miles from Sarasota. It then moved slightly north of west …before disintegrating at an altitude of 15 miles," said Bill Cooke from the Marshall Space Flight Center.
Based on the witness reports, the meteor is estimated to be traveling from the southeast to the northwest and then ended up on the sea east of Anna Maria Island off the coast of Manatee County, Florida, ABC reports. The fireball is about the size of a baseball and moved at around 40,000 mph.
"The fireball was seen primarily from Florida but witnesses from Georgia and Alabama also reported the event," the American Meteor Society, which collects fireball reports throughout the world, stated.
The group said that thousands of fireballs pass the Earth's atmosphere but they go unnoticed because they appear in uninhabited areas or are masked by daylight. A meteor fireball, such as the one seen in Florida, is said to be brighter than the planet Venus' magnitude as seen from the morning or night sky.