There was debate online regarding the meteor’s origin
In a matter of seconds, the fireball had disappeared from sight.
At 10:16 p.m. ET, a doorbell camera looking out on a back patio in Parkland showed how the sky lit up and a Coral Springs Twitter user with a Nest camera recorded a different angle of its descent.
“Did you happen to see a meteor this evening? We’ve gotten a few reports about one that could be seen from #SWFL!” tweeted the National Weather Service’s Tampa Bay account. “Our #GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) appears to have captured the bright meteor as it burned up off the coast.”
Local reporter Jay O’Brien was streaming on Facebook Live when he captured the meteor in West Palm Beach.
“WOAH!” he said on Twitter. “Big flash and streak across sky in West Palm Beach. Happened moments ago while we were on Facebook Live for a @CBS12 story. Working to figure out what it was.”
O’Brien’s colleague, meteorologist Zach Covey, replied and said that the space rock was “like a chunk of an asteroid known as 2021 GW4.”Whoops! We couldn’t access this Tweet.
However, NPR reported Tuesday that there seemed to be “disagreement” over whether or not that was actually the case.
Space.com said Monday that 2021 GW4 — which was first spotted on April 8 and is estimated to be about 14 feet across — had harmlessly flown past Earth and was approximately just more than 16,000 miles away.
While NASA notes an asteroid is a “relatively small, inactive, rocky body orbiting the Sun,” a meteor is the “light phenomena which results when a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere and vaporizes.”
A meteoroid is a “small particle” from an asteroid.
In general, meteors are common, though less than 5% make it to the ground, according to the agency.