Fireball Spotted in Night Sky Over Florida

A fireball is any meteor is brighter than the planet Venus in the sky.

ByABC News
November 23, 2016, 10:53 AM

— -- A "fireball" was seen blazing through the evening sky over western Florida late Monday night.

Dashboard cameras from the Venice Police Department and the North Port Police Department captured the blinding ball of light, believed to be a very bright meteor called a fireball.

The American Meteor Society, which collects fireball reports throughout the world, said it has received more than 150 reports so far about a fireball event seen over Florida, from Key West to the Florida panhandle, on Monday around 11 p.m. ET.

A preliminary estimated trajectory plotted from the witness reports suggests the meteor was traveling from the southeast to the northwest and ended its fiery flight over the sea east of Anna Maria Island, a barrier island off the coast of Manatee County, Florida.

"The fireball was seen primarily from Florida but witnesses from Georgia and Alabama also reported the event," the American Meteor Society said in a statement on its website.

According to the group, a meteor of fireball magnitude is brighter than the planet Venus in the morning or night sky. Several thousand fireballs occur in the Earth’s atmosphere each day. But the vast majority go unnoticed as they appear over oceans and uninhabited regions or are masked by daylight.

Meteorologist Josh Stone told ABC affiliate WWSB in Sarasota said he saw the fireball from his window and it "looked as bright as the sun."

"Never seen anything like that before," Stone told WWSB. He added that he "heard a little rumbling after it faded away."

ABC News' Matt Foster contributed to this report.