FAA: Fireball in Texas sky likely a meteor - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

FAA: Fireball in Texas sky likely a meteor

(Source: Little River - Academy Police via CNN) (Source: Little River - Academy Police via CNN)

The Federal Aviation Administration says a streaking light seen in the skies over parts of Texas and Oklahoma was likely a meteor.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the agency received reports of the light Wednesday night. The sightings were reported as far north as Oklahoma City and as far south as Houston.

Media outlets across the ArkLaTex and beyond got reports of a bright, fiery object in the sky after it was spotted around 8 p.m. Some described it as having bright colors and looking like a "shooting star."

TV stations across Texas are reporting similar sightings. In some areas, meteor sightings were accompanied by reports of a "sonic boom."

According to CNN, a police cruiser in Little River-Academy, Texas caught the streaking meteor on its dash camera during a traffic stop.

Most who reported seeing the streak of light described a similar bright blue/green fireball with trailing streaks. Some say they spotted "sparks" coming from the tail of the meteor.

Malisa Edwards-Thacker said she originally thought it was an airplane. "I've seen a lot of shooting stars. If that was one, it's the biggest and brightest I've ever seen."

Geoff Gordon says he spotted the object from Feagin Drive in Lufkin. "[It] was fiery green. It made no noise at all and watched it until I could not see it anymore. It was breaking up too. It had a large trail of burning debris behind [it]."

Shelia Hughes wasn't sure what she saw. "I was just visiting outside with my mother-in-law in the Stockman community in Shelby County and saw a flash."

NASA describes meteors or "shooting stars" as bits of rock and ice, the leftovers from voyaging comets and asteroids, that enter the atmosphere and burn up.

In 2008, NASA established the Meteoroid Environment Office, or MEO, to more-closely track, document, and study meteors. According to the agency, the All Sky Fireball Network "watches the skies with six specialized black and white video cameras set up in four states scattered across the Southeast and Southwest." The network's cameras provide overlapping views of the night sky, allowing scientists to calculate the speed and location of meteors.

As of late Wednesday evening it is not known if the network was able to capture images of the meteor witnessed over Texas.

Copyright 2012 KSLA All rights reserved.

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