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Possible meteor reported off the coast of Florida

February 18, 2013|By Matt Pearce | This post has been corrected.

The sky is falling! Florida residents reported seeing a flickering light falling off the state's eastern coast Sunday night, raising curiosity over whether Earth has played host to yet another meteor.

Crowdsourced reports on the American Meteor Society's website generally stated the falling light happened sometime after 6:30 p.m. local time, with sightings from Cocoa, Fla., all the way down to Miami.

NBC-6 in Miami showed witness video of a falling, flickering light, burning brighter and moving slower than most small shooting stars.

Miami residents took to Twitter to say they saw a fireball. (Meteors are what's in the sky; meteorites are what you find on the ground.)

"My man was just on the golf course in & swears he saw a . Did that happen or is he just messing with me?!" one user tweeted. 

"Just witnessed a meteor go down near South Beach. True story!" another added.

"Yeah I wasn't on acid or anything, I def. saw a meteor fireball thingy in the sky today," said another user.

Local media reported that the Broward County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Coast Guard said they received calls about a flashing light, with the Coast Guard reporting that they couldn't find a flare or a boat in distress.

The Florida sighting joins another sighting off the West Coast on Friday night and, of course, the huge meteor that flashed over Russia's Ural Mountains on Friday, creating a shock wave that broke windows and injured hundreds.

The Russian object, the remains of which are now being collected, is thought to be the largest to hit Earth in a century.

About 100 tons of rock and particles as minuscule as a grain of sand hit Earth's atmosphere and burn up on entry every day, according to NASA. Vehicle-sized meteors that create an "impressive fireball" arrive about once a year.

[Correction, 4:40 p.m. PST Feb. 18: An earlier version of this post said the apparent meteor was seen last Tuesday. It actually was seen on Sunday.]

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matt.pearce@latimes.com

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