On March 16, 2020, the residents of Florida were stunned after they witnessed an astronomical phenomenon. A bright and massive fireball visibly passed the skies of the state, lighting up the surrounding area. The IMO or the International Meteor Organization received hundreds of reports from witnesses after the astronomical phenomenon as they shared their experience on the unusual sighting.
Fireball meteor asteroid
A resident named Paris wrote on the IMO: "IT WAS SO COOL!!! I feel incredibly lucky to have caught it!". Another resident named Clarice said: "Pretty flippin' cool, and I did wait to make sure it was not hitting the earth or hear a boom."
Asteroids and meteors create a massive, bright explosion of fire whenever it hits the atmosphere, but it is the first time that the asteroid has met resistance, creating a massive fireball. As the air seeps into the cracks and pores of the space rock, it pushes the rock apart and it causes it to explode.
According to the IMO, fireballs are meteors that looks brighter than the normal meteors. Because of the velocity that the space rocks acquire as they strike the atmosphere of the Earth, the fragments that are larger than one millimeter have the chance to create a very bright flash as they pass by the skies.
The IMO added that the bright meteors are called fireballs and they usually strike awe, fear, and shock for those who see them. Although the meteor that passed by Florida was smaller than the other fireballs that the IMO have recorded, the bright flash caught the attention of the people towards the skies, making them anticipate for more potential asteroid appearance.
Even though the chances of a massive asteroid hitting the Earth are not that high, NASA still believes that there is one in 300,000 chance that every year, a space rock can cause any regional damage as soon as it hits, it is a scary thought but it is possible. But there are some plans in the future that could help Earth against any destructive asteroid strikes. Currently, NASA is studying Asteroid Bennu, where the spacecraft OSIRIS-Rex arrived in 2018
Not the first time
This is not the first time that residents in Florida witnessed an astronomical phenomenon. Back in 2016, Venice Police Department and the North Port Police Department captured a fireball on their dashcams. The blinding light caught the attention of the authorities as it passed by the skies of the state.
The American Meteor Society stated that they received more than 150 reports about the fireball that was seen over Florida. The astronomical phenomenon was seen from Florida all the way to Georgia and Alabama.
According to the American Meteor Society, the fireball magnitude was very bright, in fact, it was brighter than the planet Venus in the morning sky or night sky. Numerous fireballs happen in the atmosphere of the Earth every day. However, the majority of them go unnoticed as they appear over regions that are uninhabited and oceans and they are usually hidden by daylight.
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