Weekend Texas fireball was likely a meteor (Video)

February 17, 2009

(ChattahBox) – A fireball that streaked across the sky in Texas was likely just a big meteor and not wreckage from colliding satellites or a UFO, experts said yesterday.

The fireball was seen across a wide stretch of the state Sunday morning probably was a natural phenomenon and not debris from last week’s collision between an Iridium communications satellite and a Russian military space vehicle. (Video after the break) …

The FAA had said during the weekend that the fireball possibly was caused by falling debris from the satellites. It also posted a weekend warning telling pilots to watch out for satellite debris but rescinded the warning Sunday.

Preston Starr, observatory manager at the University of North Texas, said it probably was a meteor about the size of a pickup truck with the consistency of a chunk of concrete.

Starr said the object’s trajectory was wrong for it to have been satellite debris. And he said such objects would be too small and moving too slowly to produce a flare so widely visible during the day.

“It would have looked like a blip, and nobody would be able to notice if it were a daytime entry,” Starr said.

Starr said objects as large as his estimate for the one spotted Sunday enter the atmosphere about eight or 10 times a year. It was probably moving between 15,000 and 40,000 mph, he said.

Despite its initial large size, if any of the object survived the fiery descent through the atmosphere, it would be smaller than a fist, he said.  Eddie Garcia, a videographer for News 8 Austin caught video of the streaking fireball.


Comments

One Response to “Weekend Texas fireball was likely a meteor (Video)”

  1. Raquel on February 17th, 2009 11:42 am

    I bet it would hurt if it happened to hit someone even at the size of a fist!

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