A huge fireball descended over the Gulf of Mexico Nov. 21, frightening Florida residents and confusing experts (video below).
Josh Stone, a meteorologist for WWSB, a TV station in Sarasota, Florida, said: "Never seen anything like that before... looked as bright as the sun... heard a little rumbling after it faded away."
The station stated on its website: "We have had numerous reports of this 'fireball' moving toward the west out over the Gulf of Mexico."
The American Meteor Society (AMS) said that it received 150 reports of the fireball, which was seen as far away as Georgia and Alabama.
The AMS posted maps of the estimated trajectory based on eyewitness accounts.
Two patrol cars from the North Port, Florida, Police Department filmed the fireball, each from different angles. The videos were posted on the department's Facebook page.
Bill Cooke, manager of the Meteoroid Environments Office at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, said: "The meteor began 46 miles above the Gulf of Mexico and 8 miles from Sarasota," notes RT.com.
The meteor fell at 40,000 mph, according to NASA, and was the size of a baseball, although it appears to be much bigger on the videos.
The bright light was reportedly caused by the quick evaporation of frozen water and carbon dioxide, and the blinding flash happened when the meteor burned up in the atmosphere.
RT.com, which is overseen by the Russian government, bragged about its country's meteor:
The earth is under constant bombardment from space rocks, with thousands of meteorites burning up in the atmosphere every year. In 2013, a much bigger meteor broke apart 15 miles above the ground near Chelyabinsk, Russia, creating a shockwave equivalent to a 500-kiloton explosion – almost 30 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 – and injuring over 1,200 people.