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Large fireball caught on camera streaking across South Florida sky

American Meteor Society says it's space debris
Posted at 5:09 AM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-03 19:40:38-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Was it a meteor, a comet, space junk falling to Earth, or something else?

Whatever it was, residents across South Florida and the Treasure Coast took to social media early Wednesday morning to show photos and videos of a large fireball streaking across the sky.

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At this point, the general opinion seems to be that it was some sort of space debris.

"I don't know if it was a plane, or a comet, or a shooting star or what, but something came down out of the sky in a fireball," a man said in a 911 call to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

From Deerfield Beach to Vero Beach, WPTV received calls and emails from people who were perplexed by the strange object.

"It was the biggest thing I've ever seen in the sky," the 911 caller said. "It was like a ball, and then it separated into two parts. There was flames and sparkles all over the place."


Grace Theodore said she was walking out of a Walmart in Deerfield Beach around 2:19 a.m. when she recorded video of what she called a "double meteor."

Leslie Findley was in Boynton Beach when she spotted an "elongated orange stream flowing from the west coast of Florida to the east coast."

Findley said it lasted about 30 to 45 seconds and said she was "quite shocked."

Many of the videos posted to social media show a smaller ball of light being followed by a larger ball of light, which is why some are calling it a "double meteor."

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Residents in Tampa, Sarasota and Port Charlotte on Florida's west coast also spotted the brilliant ball of light overnight.

A spokesperson for the National Weather Service sent this statement to WPTV:

"For those seeking more information on last night’s objects in the sky, a summary of the public reports from the event are available from the American Meteor Society. No other information on this end, but the consensus opinion is that it was from space debris reentry."

The American Meteor Society said the debris is possibly a Chinese satellite that was launched in 2015. The society said it's received more than 20 reports of fireball sightings from residents across Florida, including one as far north as Ponte Vedra Beach near Jacksonville.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office chimed in on Twitter with its own lighthearted analysis by saying, "No, we were not invaded last night by Martians but we appreciate the level of confidence you have of us to stop intergalactic invaders."

NASA has not released any details about what the object could have been, but it's creating quite a buzz on Wednesday.