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Florida fireballs renew calls for early warning system (+video)

Florida fireballs lit up the night sky Sunday. The fireballs (aka meteors) were seen by more than 60 people in Florida. Coming after the huge meteor in Russia, there are new calls for an early warning system to protect the Earth from giant meteors and asteroids.

Fireballs (aka meteors) were seen by dozens of people in Florida Sunday.
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A fireball, caused by a falling meteor, was seen by spectators from Miami to Jacksonville, Florida, Sunday evening.

The streaking meteor was small compared to the one that hit Russia last week, but it was a bright light in the Florida sky – and was captured on video.

“This one wasn’t grain-of-sand size, which what most of them are,” Thomas Webber, director of the Museum of Science and History’s Bryan-Gooding Planetarium told the Florida Times Union in Jacksonville. “When we get something a little bigger, that maybe has a silicate coating that ablates off as it travels though the atmosphere and takes some of the heat with it, they can appear much brighter and last a lot longer.”

More than 60 people reported seeing the meteor on the American Meteor Society’s “Fireball Log.”

They posted comments including, "I saw flames coming from it as it was falling and then it burned out. It was very distintive as a flaming, falling ball."

The Florida fireball, coming on the heels of the huge meteor that fell in Russia last week and an asteroid that buzzed past the Earth from a distance of just 17,200 miles, is raising awareness of how many objects fall to Earth each day.

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