Fireball in Texas sky was meteor, FAA says

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WFAA

Posted on February 1, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 2 at 9:50 AM

WFAA received more than 200 reports Wednesday night from people who said they saw what appeared to be a meteor streaking across the North Texas sky shortly after 8 o'clock.

Many people also said they heard what sounded like a sonic boom (or booms) associated with the fireball, which was apparently witnessed all the way from San Antonio to Oklahoma City.

The Federal Aviation Administration told TV station KWTX in Waco that it was a meteor.

A camera in Hawley, Texas that is designed to record the night sky shows a bright object briefly streaking across the image (watch the clip above).

Channel 8's Facebook page was filled with descriptions.

"VERY bright blue across the sky in Benbrook," said Stephanie Clingman Guyer. "It looked so close, long tail — very cool!"

"We saw it in far West McKinney," Kathy Stulting Escobedo wrote. "Seemed very low (I thought it was a low flying plane). Of course, it may have been very high and very large. It was gold with a trail of sparkling, dripping fire. Wasn't moving as fast as most meteors I've seen. It moved from east to west and then seemed to burn out. Shortly after that, we heard a double boom (reminded me of the sonic booms we heard as kids in the 60s). Was pretty incredible!"

In Carrollton, James Gates said he "heard a light boom and my house lightly shook... then I heard dogs barking."

Dawn Caddell Delarosa was out sitting on her porch about 15 miles west of Denton. "It was HUGE. It was very low," she wrote. "It came from the Southwest, went in front of our house. Both my husband and I yelled, 'OMG, it is going to hit that plane?' It looked like it got east of Denton when it exploded/broke apart. We could see all the little 'embers' blasting southeastward. Those poor people in the plane. I bet they thought it was the end of their life."

Colleen Walker checked in from Wise County. "We were driving on Highway 380 in Bridgeport and thought it first it was a helicopter flying low until it started glowing orange and started flaming as it dropped out if the sky!" she said.

A number of witnesses described it as "beautiful."

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