Fireball captured exploding in sky over Florida was a meteor, NWS confirms


TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – It wasn’t a grand slam that lit up the crowd at a South Florida baseball game Monday night.

A meteor shot across the sky and stole the show around 10 p.m. Residents along the state’s Atlantic Coast from Jacksonville Beach and down as far south as Miami took to Twitter to share videos of the sight.

An hour later, the National Weather Service in Tampa Bay confirmed the reports.

Meteorologist Tony Hart at NWS Tampa Bay said, “initially our GOES-16 radar identified it as lightning, but after surveying all of the videos and with experience we knew it was a meteor.”

It wasn’t just people in that particular area that saw it. The American Meteor Society has logged hundreds of reports of the meteor and they indicate it was traveling generally south to north and could be seen well across the Florida peninsula.

Locations of people who reported seeing the meteor Monday night via American Meteor Society

John Christovich, a sportscaster for Florida Southern College and a spectator at Monday night’s game at Henley Field in Lakeland, captured the sight. He called it a “shooting star” that resulted in a “big explosion.” He recounted the experience as everyone “being stunned by it!”

It’s not uncommon to see flying objects soar across the Florida skies. Tampa’s next International Space Station sighting will be on Tuesday, April 22. Many launches of rockets can be seen at night or in daylight from the Kennedy Space Center.

Also, this meteor ran a little ahead of the traditional meteor shower known as the Lyrid meteor showers which generally last from April 16 through April 30 and peak around April 19.

You can find a full schedule of ISS flyovers near you on NASA’s website.

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