Cameras Capture Meteor Lighting Up Night Sky in Florida

Rachel DeSantis
·2 min read

A meteor was spotted streaking through the sky in Florida on Monday, lighting up the night sky along the coast.

The shooting star was visible along the Sunshine State's Atlantic coast, from Fort Pierce south to Miami, around 10:15 p.m., according to NPR.

Its brief moment in the spotlight was captured on various video cameras, many of which showed similar scenes after they were shared to Twitter: a bright streak flashing across the sky that at one point flashed very bright before continuing on.

One Twitter user's Nest camera caught the meteor glowing in Fort Pierce, while another saw it in Parkland. Another person captured it on his dashboard camera while driving in Miami.

"Did you happen to see a meteor this evening?" National Weather Service Tampa Bay wrote on Twitter. "We've gotten a few reports about one that could be seen from #SWFL! Our #GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) appears to have captured the bright meteor as it burned up off the coast #flwx."

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A meteor, also called a "shooting star," is when an object in space called a meteoroid enters Earth's atmosphere at high speed and burns up, according to NASA. Sometimes they survive the trip through the atmosphere and hit the ground, at which point they're called meteorites.

Monday's meteor was spotted around the same time the asteroid 2021 GW4 was expected to come close to Earth's surface, between 12,000 and 16,000 miles away, according to NPR.

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Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Center for Astrophysics, said on Twitter the meteor was simply "a normal fireball and nothing to do with GW4."

Monday night's fireball made its closest approach at about 9,300 miles from Earth's surface, much closer than GW4 was expected to travel. According to EarthSky.org, GW4 was not expected to be seen by the unaided eye.