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Meteor lights up Jacksonville skyline

Over 100 people reported sighting

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The sky lit up throughout parts of Florida and Georgia Saturday night after a meteor soared through the sound barrier before falling apart and crashing into Earth.

The phones in the News4JAX newsroom rang off the hook as viewers called in reporting the meteor. While many saw it, Kandace Gaddie missed it.

"Well, sadly I didn't get to see it in person. I woke up this morning, checked Facebook, and thought Man I missed it," said Gaddie. "Then it dawned on me, I've got a security camera out, I wonder if it caught it!"

Gaddie said her security cameras are motion activated, and she wasn't sure if the camera was even rolling when it happened. But she checked anyway and there it was.

Click for a list of meteor sightings

"My initial reaction was just like, 'woah that just happened! Man why wasn't I outside,'" said Lunsford

According to the American Meteor Society there were 132 reported meteor sightings throughout Florida and Georgia Saturday night.

Robert Lunsford, a volunteer with the group says they're usually about the size of a beach ball but with speeds topped out at 10-15 miles-per-second. It can create quite a flash.

"The fact that people heard sonic booms [means] it did survive down to the lower atmosphere," said Lunsford. "So there's a good chance that some small fragments may have reached the ground probably about 50 miles west of Jacksonville."

Gaddie said her father went out searching for remnants of the fireball, but didn't find anything. She said catching it in action to watch over and over again may be even better.

"I've lived closer to town before and it's almost impossible to catch things like that on camera, or video, or even in person because it's gotta be the right conditions," said Gaddie.

Lunsford said although this time of year doesn't have any scheduled meteor showers, the chance of meteors is high right now.

"At this time of the year in the evening sky, we have a path in the sky called the ecliptic is where the moon and the sun and the planets all follow," said Lunsford. "During those three months it's highest in the sky during the evening hours."

Click here to see how to report a meteor sighting 


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