Residents in the UK and Cuba have described seeing shiny objects falling from the sky, which were followed by a loud noise. Unconfirmed meteor sightings were also reported in the US. A dashcam recorded a bright ball of light flying across the sky over the island of Jersey, a British territory in the English Channel.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a meteor! ☄️
Ian Dryhurst's dash-cam captured the moment a space rock began burning up in the atmosphere over Jersey this afternoon.
— ITV News Channel TV (@ITVChannelTV) March 20, 2021
Around the same time, locals in the UK reported hearing a loud bang in the southwestern counties of Devon, Dorset, Cornwall and Somerset. The sound was described as a “sonic boom” and a “huge rumble” on social media.
— Not Charlotte (@CharlNicole22) March 20, 2021
A person told DevonLive that it sounded “like a big explosion.”
“It was this big bass-y boom that reverberated for a good 20 seconds or so, followed by a series of popping noises,” he said.
Another apparent meteor was spotted flying over Cuba, where residents said they saw shiny objects in the night sky and heard what sounded like explosions. Reports on social media claimed that the meteor was also seen from Jamaica.
Apparently there are reports of a #meteor explosion over Moa, Holguin in Cuba.
A seismological station detected the shock wave and there are multiples visual reports as wells.#NOAA #GOESEast GLM imagery has a bright flash right over the area of visual reports at 02:05 UTC pic.twitter.com/WWoNaO4kfV
— CM2ESP (@CM2ESP_Raydel) March 20, 2021
The head of Cuba’s National Seismological Service, Enrique Arango Arias, told the Cubadebate news website that the “phenomenon” was observed from the towns of Moa, Sagua de Tanamo and Maisi. He added that the agency’s equipment recorded a shock wave, whose source did not come from the ground.
The country’s Institute of Meteorology was quoted by the media as saying that it recorded a flash in the upper atmosphere, which had likely come from the blast.
Este video es también de redes sociales de un usuario en el oriente cubano pic.twitter.com/CaeMAEhcQx
— Alex (@__Alex_2011) March 20, 2021
The National Seismological Service noted that the bright objects seen from Earth could be meteors or smaller space rocks, trash or debris from spacecraft and satellites. The agency later said it could not find any evidence that the meteor hit the ground, which means that the cosmic object likely disintegrated mid-air.
There were also unconfirmed reports of a meteor streaking over the east coast of the US. A video circulating on social media purportedly shows a bright fireball descending from the sky over Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Just a meteor exploding over Pittsburgh tonight. No big deal. pic.twitter.com/evGD9JYYDX
— jeffrey (@LIVEFASTDIEAWSM) March 21, 2021
Local TV channel KDKA cited the American Meteor Society saying that 131 reports were submitted about this event.