A DAZZLING fireball spotted by hundreds of people as it streaked across the Florida skies sparked fears aliens could be landing. The super-bright meteor, which was filmed on phones and dashcams, prompted calls from terrified locals to police.
Facebook/North Port Police Department via Storyful A police squad car films the fireball as it flies overheadFacebook/North Port Police Department via Storyful More than 100 people reported sighting the meteor
The American Meteorological Society and police received dozens of reports of a bright light in the sky at around 11 pm from Key West to the Florida Panhandle.
Some were from panicked locals fearing a UFO invasion with some taking to Twitter to admit they were terrified.
The shocking flash was captured on the dashboard cameras of several cruisers belonged to the North Point Police Department in west Florida.
TV meteorologist Josh Stone, of ABC 7, saw it out his window and said “Never seen anything like that before,…..looked as bright as the sun….heard a little rumbling after it faded away”
According to Bill Cooke of Marshall Space Flight Center “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”.
At 11:18 PM Monday night the meteor the size of a baseball entered the earths atmosphere moving at about 40,000 mph.
The frozen water and carbon dioxide rapidly expanded as the rock ball heated and the meteor vaporized into a spectacular fireball illumination the night sky.
Classified as a bolide but not a superbolide, the meteor caused no damage.
There are probably more than500,000 fireballs a year, but most will go unnoticed because most will occur over the ocean and half will occur during daytime.