Saturday, October 01, 2005

UFO lights up Florida's skies

MIAMI - Experts believe a meteor was visible along a large section of the Florida skyline Thursday night, although NASA officials have not confirmed what the intensely bright, fast object exactly was. The glowing orb was spotted around 7 p.m.; some who saw it called county and state officials to ensure that it wasn't a crashing aircraft.
"This one could've been from a baseball- to a basketball-sized chunk of space rock that slammed into our Earth's atmosphere at a very high speed," Jack Horkheimer, director of the planetarium at the Miami Museum of Science, told The Miami Herald. National Weather Service meteorologist Barry Baxter said he isn't sure if the object, which he believes was a meteor, was over Atlantic Ocean waters or the Florida peninsula. Bob Cooper, 48, of Dania Beach was in his backyard throwing a Frisbee to his dog when the object - which he described as a flaming ball - caught his eye.
"All of a sudden this thing shot from my right," Cooper told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "And it was super fast, so you know it was in a hurry. It turned from orange to the-center-of-the-sun yellow then it disintegrated."
Residents from the state's Space Coast region all the way to South Florida reported seeing the object, officials said.
A meteor is a momentary flash of light produced when a space object penetrates Earth's atmosphere. NASA will determine what direction the object was traveling, officials said.

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