Man's dash cam video of North Florida meteor goes viral

Published: Apr. 1, 2019 at 5:56 PM EDT
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One Alachua County man's dash cam video of a meteor that flew across the North Florida sky late Saturday has gone viral.

Chad Zetrouer was driving west on Newberry Road just before midnight, when he saw a bright flash across the sky.

"It was just complete shock and amazement," Zetrouer said.

The meteor, which flew over Taylor County but was visible from as far as Georgia, could only be seen for a few seconds.

"I've seen a fireball before. But it was not even one-tenth that size, not even," Zetrouer said. "So it was just pure amazement, I was shocked."

Meteors aren't necessarily rare, but for one to be that visible in populated areas is uncommon.

"There are hundreds of them that fall through the earth's atmosphere every day," said WCJB Meteorologist Alex Calamia. "Usually they're really tiny, but if they're even just a little bit bigger and they survive the trip through most of earth's atmosphere, you get this incredible show. Because what you're getting is the friction from the rock interacting with the earth's atmosphere."

A lightning mapper from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows the meteor as a short blip over Taylor County around 11:52 p.m.

"It does that by determining the brightness of the lightning, but it actually picks up on this meteor because the meteor was so bright," Calamia said.

Meanwhile, Zetrouer's video has gone viral, racking up hundreds of thousands of views and being featured by multiple news agencies.

"Within an hour of posting it, I had hundreds of retweets, comments, I had news agencies as far as Japan sending me messages, wanting to use the footage," Zetrouer said.

There is still no indication as to whether the meteor made impact or broke up before hitting the ground.