Object Over Texas Skies Believed To Be Bolide Meteor

A ball of fire lit up the skies of Texas and even the Midwest Wednesday night as a meteor streaked through the atmosphere.

A lot of people were lucky enough to the see the red orange and green ball and sparks.

And if you didn't, we've got you covered with lots of pictures.

News 3 spoke with a Texas A&M Astronomer to find us why the celestial event was a rare sight to see.

It wasn't a UFO but a pretty spectacular meteor seen from the Brazos Valley to Kansas for a few brief seconds Wednesday night.

"It looked like a sparkler, almost," said Lisa Coleman.

Coleman witnessed the space spectacle from her driveway in north Bryan.

"There was just this huge meteor-like rock falling across the sky and I thought wow that's really huge to be a shooting star but it lasted about 12 to 15 seconds and it had a sparkling flaring tail," she said.

Dash camera video from a police car even caught the mysterious meteor just near Temple.

It turns out there's a lot of meteorite myths out there.

Texas A&M Astronomy Professor Nicholas Suntzeff tells us what was high in the sky was likely only about the size of your fist.

"If they do hit the earth they are not hot they are cold. They come in very quickly but because they're so cold in space there is the fire around them but that's like produces insulation and the meteor itself remains cold and so it will not it almost never produces a fire when it hits the earth," said Nicholas Suntzeff, Ph.D.

Professor Suntzeff says this type of meteorite is so rare most people will probably never see one in their lifetime.

Bolide meteors like the one Wednesday night are extremely bright.

"Usually it's just a fraction of a second here it was like five seconds or so. Again I've only seen a few of those in my life. I wish I'd seen it," said Suntzeff.

"I just count myself very lucky that I got to see something like that and I was just really wondering what it was," said Lisa Coleman.

Where the meteorite ended up is not known and there have been no reports of damage in Texas.

We're told meteors like this can typically travel 15 miles per second.

It turns out the sighting also happened on the 9th anniversary of the Columbia disaster when the space shuttle broke up over parts of East Texas.


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