Monday, September 23, 2013

Hundreds Spot Fireball Streak Across Texas

Fireball Streak Across Texas. Credit: darcstarobservatory/Youtube

Hundreds of people across Texas flocked online to report seeing a bright ball of light in the sky around 9 p.m. Saturday. People in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Plano, Waco and Abilene, among other cities, described a brilliant flash or a white fireball. Some even caught colors and a sparkling tail. Most reported seeing one, while a few spotted a second, smaller flash. A witness in Georgetown said it looked like a firework about to explode in a report submitted to the American Meteor Society.

A Reddit poster said they were facing northwest from the University of Texas campus when they saw a bright light. 

And a Smithville volunteer firefighter posted on Facebook that she spotted "the most brilliant, enormous falling star" begin as a green streak and then explode into a white fireball with orange projectiles.



Robert Lunsford with the American Meteor Society said it was likely a fireball, a term for a very bright meteor. The group is a non-profit scientific organization that monitors meteoric phenomena. 

A post on the Texas Storm Chasers Facebook page asking if anyone saw "a meteorite and flash in the sky" had more than 750 comments. Most confirmed a sighting and identified their location, but some give more details. 

Several posters said they just enjoyed the show, others made a wish. 

"We ducked," a Goldthwaite man said in his report to the American Meteor Society. 

Thirty five people submitted reports of the fireball over Texas Saturday night to the American Meteor Society. 

The American Meteor Society website says thousands of meteors of fireball brightness occur in the Earth's atmosphere daily, but the majority happen over the ocean or uninhabited areas. Others occur during the daylight and are not as visible, or during overnight hours when there are fewer potential spectators. 

This event occurred on a clear weekend night with fair temperatures in the 70s, according to National Weather Service observations from Camp Mabry. 

In February 2012, scores of people from Oklahoma City to Houston reported seeing a ball of light shoot across the sky, also likely a fireball.

Credit: statesman.com

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