Meteor caught on camera in Texas

NASA said the meteor was considered a slow moving object, despite streaking across the sky at 30,000 mph

Graig Graziosi
Monday 26 July 2021 20:32 BST
210726 Meteor
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A surveillance camera caught footage of a meteor streaking over the sky in northern Texas.

The fireball lit up the sky as it careened across the horizon on Sunday evening.

According to NASA, the meteor was cruising about 48 miles above Texas Highway 11, near Sulphur Springs and Winnsboro.

NASA analysts told NBC News that the size of the meteor could be estimated based on its brightness.

“The fireball was at least as bright as a quarter Moon, which translates to something bigger than 6 inches in diameter with a weight of 10 pounds,” NASA said.

Despite its apparent speed, the meteor is actually considered slow for objects of its size and type. According to NASA, the object was moving at 30,000 miles per hour (48,200 kph). The meteor travelled about 59 miles through the Earth's upper atmosphere before it broke apart.

According to the American Meteor Society, space debris can reach speeds up to 160,000 mph (257,500 kph).

Due to the object's slow speed, NASA believes it was part of a larger asteroid that broke off and entered the Earth's atmosphere.

Residents in Norway also caught a glimpse of a much larger meteor on Sunday that woke up residents of the nation's capital, Oslo, as it rocketed overheard.

Around 1am local time, the “unusually large” meteor blasted across the sky above Norway, leaving a trail of bright flashes in its wake. The noise it made stirred residents of Oslo from their bed, and some called local emergency services to report the loud rumbling.

Eventually the meteor landed in a forest outside of Oslo.

The meteor over Oslo moved significantly faster than the one over Texas, cruising across the sky at 43,200 mph (72,000 kph) and illuminated the sky for approximately six seconds.

Morten Bilet, a meteorite collector and member of Norwegian Meteor Network, which monitors meteor activity in the country, witnessed the object.

“My wife and I heard a loud rumbling noise and saw two powerful flashes of light,” he told Verdens Gang, a Norwegian newspaper. “It's definitely a large meteor that has come in over eastern Norway. This is a big deal.”

The meteor monitors said the speeding object caused a gust of wind as it blew by the city.

Mr Bilet told Reuters that the meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere after being deflected off of the asteroids in our solar system's asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars.

“With an object of this size, it's nearly impossible to get an overview of absolutely everything,” Mr Bilet said. “It would have been easier had it had a steeper course. We don't know yet whether it was a rock or an iron meteorite. From experience, it's more likely to be a rock, but we can't draw conclusions yet.”

The NMN monitors searched for fragments of the meteor on Sunday, but said that given the remote location of its final resting place it could take up to a decade before all of its fragments are recovered.

Pieces of meteorites are sought after by both scientists and private collectors.

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