A fireball west of Jacksonville, FL on Saturday, Feb. 21st at 22:59:45 PM EST was detected by two all sky cameras, located in Melbourne, belonging to the Sky Sentinel Network.
The American Meteor Society has a write-up on this fireball at http://www.amsmeteors.org/2015/02/florida-fireball-with-boom/. There were over a hundred eyewitness reports, and the trajectory determined from these agrees fairly well with a crude triangulation performed using the Sky Sentinel videos. These videos and eyewitness reports indicate that the fireball started just east of Lake City and moved NE at about 40,000 miles per hour, burning up about 30 miles west of Jacksonville. The apparent brightness of the meteor permits a crude estimate of about a foot for the object’s diameter, with a weight around 100 pounds.
NASA places a high priority on tracking asteroids and protecting our home planet from them. In fact, the U.S. has the most robust and productive survey and detection program for discovering near-Earth objects (NEOs). NASA’s NEO Program at NASA Headquarters, Washington, manages and funds the search, study and monitoring of asteroids and comets whose orbits periodically bring them close to Earth. NASA is also pursuing an Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) which will identify, redirect and send astronauts to explore an asteroid. Among its many exploration goals, the mission could demonstrate basic planetary defense techniques for asteroid deflection.
4 thoughts on “Fireball over Jacksonville, Florida on Feb. 21”
On 2/22/2005 at about 04:25 I heard what sounded like a rocket engine (lower pitched, rumbling and louder than a jet engine) go over our house. The sound was immediately followed by a high pitched siren type sound off in the distance (like a plane makes, in one of the old war movies, while it is falling out of the sky). All of it lasted only about 3 seconds. I think the noise had woke me up, and it was still dark outside.
I just saw a giant fireball shoot across the sky of Evanston, Wyoming at approximately 10:55 p.m.-
It was bright orange and was going incredibly fast. There were several others trailing along side of the fireball. It only took about 10-15 second for it to go from one side to the other where I couldn’t see it at all.
In a similar vein, we just witnessed a huge fireball pass over the Utah skies at roughly 2202 hrs (Mountain Time), travelling south to north. It took well over a minute to traverse the sky, with parts breaking off and burning along parallel paths. It disappeared over the north horizon, still blazing brightly. Was there a polar orbit satellite that fell through the atmosphere tonight?
We live in Bountiful, UT, immediately north of Salt Lake City, and could see almost the entire display passing just slightly west of directly overhead.
COL (Ret) Kevin Riedler
I saw what appeared to be 8 or so bright meteor’s flying by at a fast speed leaving a trail that looked like a jet stream. I was just wondering if it was the fireball that maybe broke up into pieces. It was unique to see. It just happened around 10:00pm 2-23-2015 over Coeur d Alene, Idaho.