Meteor fireball streaks over Westside Jacksonville

Night sky lights up across Florida

By Mark Collins - Meteorologist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla - Several people watched the night sky light up from Jacksonville's Westside down to Melbourne Tuesday night. Vivian Parrish, in the Rolling Hills neighborhood of the Westside shared video from her doorbell camera of a fireball streaking across the sky.

Even though it happened at 2 a.m., Vivian was not the only one to see the dropping fireball around that time. A woman in Middleburg saw a very bright light bigger than a full moon but didn’t hear a sonic boom.

The American Meteor Society, which collects reports on fireball and meteor sightings, shows four other sightings -- from Middleburg to Palm Bay, in South Florida.

Meteoroids commonly burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere but they are not always noticed because of sunlight. Bigger space rocks may not vaporize completely in the sky before hitting the ground. 

These meteorites are rare but often display an awesome streak in the sky. A rock that weighs as much as a paperclip can trigger a fireball by slamming into the atmosphere at 130,000 mph. 

This was the case Feb. 1 when a meteor passed over Ft. Myers and struck western Cuba.

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