MIAMI – Conspiracy theorists went to social media in a thrill of excitement Wednesday after a mysterious flying object resembling an orange fireball over the Florida sky.
The American Meteor Society reported two dozen observations from Jacksonville to Key West after midnight and tweeted there is no "real explanation yet".
Even Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office joined the fun after receiving reports of the mysterious lights and sent on social media that "we were not invaded last night by the Martians, but we appreciate the level of confidence you have of us to stop intergalactic invaders. "
Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell at the Center for Astrophysics has a more logical explanation for the unusual flashes of light with a not-so-bursting finale: He said they were just pieces of a Chinese rocket as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere.
Launched in January, the rocket weighed over 2 tons and was about 30 feet long. He said it helped orbit a Chinese military communications satellite, and as in most space switches, it was tracked as it circled the earth.
"The thing is moving slowly. It breaks up into several pieces. It's a bit of a classic space waste," he told the Associated Press.
Time and location from videos published on social media made it easy to compare with the orbital data on which wastes were re-entered around at that time.
McDowell said that re-imports like this are pretty common and happen once a month, but they don't often happen overnight over the US, how many people see it, so that was what was unusual. "
A 911 caller gasped that it was the biggest thing he had ever seen in the sky and told the operator that he went out of a donut shop in Lantana when he saw the fireball split into two parts in a flame blast and sparkles. "I don't know if it was a plane crash or a comet or shooting star or whatever, but something came from the sky in a fireball," said the unidentified man in a call from Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.