GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) – A spacecraft was seen lighting up the sky through parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida early Wednesday morning.
A Jan. 11 post from NASA’s blog says SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down at 5:19 a.m. EST off the coast of Tampa.
Lisa Finlay Chimento, a sergeant for the George County Sheriff’s Office in Mississippi, said she saw a very bright light while on patrol on U.S. 98 near the Alabama state line around 4:11 a.m. CST.
“I looked up and observed a bright light, thinking it was a shooting star, but it continued to move,” Chimento said. “The bright tail stretched from west to east moving towards Alabama. What a beautiful sight.”
The American Meteor Society received 20 reports of a possible fireball in the sky around the same time. One person in Elberta, Ala. said “it was the largest, longest lasting object I have ever seen in my 51 years.”
Another person in Saraland said their neighbor heard it make a sizzling noise. A third person in Navarre, Fla. said they heard a large boom about one minute after losing sight of the object.
The Quadrantids meteor shower is active until Jan. 16 but was hard to see even at its Jan. 3 peak with a nearly full moon, according to the American Meteor Society. The next meteor shower, Lyrdis, will be April 15 – 29, peaking overnight on April 22.
NASA said the spacecraft seen Wednesday morning was carrying about 4,400 pounds of scientific experiments and other cargo back to Earth. It marked SpaceX’s 26th contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA.