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Video: A rarity: Meteor streaks across Keys sky

The Lower Keys sky lit up Tuesday night but it wasn’t fireworks.

A meteor came out of nowhere a little before 11 p.m. Judging from video taken by the dash-cam from a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office patrol car facing Florida Bay on Big Pine Key, it was heading west to east.

“A meteor is not a meteorological phenomenon. But obviously it is a huge rock in space,” said Jon Rizzo, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Key West.

“What is interesting about that is the planet rotates toward the east. So that rock is coming in from the west. That means it’s going much faster than the Earth is rotating,” he said. “The surface of the Earth at the equator moves about 1,000 mph. It’s a little slower [in the Lower Keys. The meteor] is moving west to east and it’s burning up so you can see it’s moving really fast.”

As it comes down, it either breaks in two and burns out or casts a shadow making it appear it broke in two.

Larry Kahn: 305-440-3218

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