Surveillance captured meteor in the Tallahassee.
Courtesy of Cole Tessier, Tallahassee Democrat
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,” the Tallahassee resident 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 actually a meteor or meteorite that streaked across the sky and was visible in parts of South George and North Florida. The fireball was caught by night owls, dash cams and surveillance videos across the region.
The 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,” said Kelly Godsey, a NWS meteorologist.
They also tracked social media reports from Valdosta, Ga., Tallahassee, Wakulla County, Gainesville and Jacksonville.
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For the Tallahassee area, it would have appeared as a brief 5 seconds of illumination between about 11:52 and 11:54 p.m. Godsey said. It may have even 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,” NWS tweeted. “The satellite data suggests that *if* it landed, though, it was in FL.”
That NWS confirmation was an ah-ha moment for Kadar Sunday morning. After the flash, she and her friend immediately began speculating, and even second guessing, about what they saw.
“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 others in the Big Bend.
“It was absolutely incredible,” she said. “It was like a ball of energy that flew across the sky.”
Follow William Hatfield on Twitter: @WhatfieldTD
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