People amazed by Florida meteor

Published On: Feb 18 2013 06:07:47 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 18 2013 02:36:03 PM EST

Some Floridians noticed what looked like a fireball in the sky.


Many might have noticed what looked like a fireball in the sky Sunday night.

If they were looking in the right place at the right time, people saw one spectacular light show.

Witnesses have been uploading video all night. They describe the flares as "orange or red fireballs in the sky."

Coast Guard stations from Miami to Jacksonville were flooded with calls about the rare sighting.  The Coast Guard station at Mayport was among those receiving calls starting around 7:30 p.m.

The American Meteor Society in New York tracked the sightings and says it logged 27 reports within the first two hours.  They believe this was a sporadic meteor over the ocean.

"When a meteor becomes very bright -- when it becomes brighter than one of the planets -- usually this is because it has a coating of some type," Jacksonville Museum of Science and History planetarium director Thomas Webber said. "As it shears off due to the heat and pressure, it causes it to glow longer, the metal core can survive longer through the atmosphere. It's much brighter and lasts a lot longer."

People are tweeting about the sighting using the hash tag "Miami meteor."

"Well I feel very lucky to see the meteorite across the night sky today in florida!" Miguel Calderon said. "It was beautiful."

Rob tweeted, "Now a meteor flew over Miami!? What's going on in the world!!! Freaked out."

There's a lot of interest in meteors since this happened Friday in Russia. A meteor caused an explosion, injuring about 1,200 people.

As for the meteor sighting in Florida Sunday night, experts said this is actually pretty common, but it's rare for a person to see more than one or two in their lifetime.


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