TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Jania Kadar and her friend were cleaning up in the backyard after a gathering of friends in eastern Tallahassee when the night sky lit up.
“It was like someone turned on the stadium lights,” Kadar said. “I look up and there is this bluish-green flash. It almost looks like daylight.”
“It lasted it felt like seconds,” she said of the sighting near midnight. “The second my brain wanted me to say ‘What is that?’, it was over.”
What Kadar saw was a meteor or meteorite that streaked across the sky. It was visible in parts of southern George and northern Florida. The fireball was caught by night owls, dash cams and surveillance videos across the region.
National Weather Service Tallahassee picked up the chunk of space rock streaking across the sky on its GOES satellite system.
“It basically has a global lightning mapper and picks out bright cloud flashes from lightning when we have thunderstorms,” Kelly Godsey, a NWS meteorologist, said of the system.
They also tracked social media reports from Valdosta, Georgia, and elsewhere in Tallahassee, Wakulla County, Gainesville and Jacksonville, Florida.
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In the Tallahassee area, the meteor would have appeared as 5 seconds of illumination between 11:52 and 11:54 p.m., Godsey said. The meteor may have crashed to earth.
“We've heard reports that it landed near Perry, FL, which would match with the GLM data, but can't confirm anything,” the National Weather Service tweeted. “The satellite data suggests that *if* it landed, though, it was in FL.”
That NWS confirmation was an a-ha moment for Kadar on Sunday morning. After the flash Saturday, she and her friend immediately had begun speculating about, and even second-guessing, what they had seen.
“We had a couple of beers so there was that …” she said. “At the time we were playing around with some pretty extraterrestrial theories. Of course, our husbands were oblivious. They were schlepping stuff in and out of the house.”
Now it will be a night to remember and talk about for Kadar and otherswho saw the meteor.
“It was absolutely incredible,” she said. “It was like a ball of energy that flew across the sky.”
Follow William Hatfield on Twitter: @WhatfieldTD
This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Watch: 'Absolutely incredible' meteor lights up the sky over Florida, Georgia