Recently, we reported that residents of South Texas thought a meteor had crashed nearby as they heard a loud, sonic boom and felt the ground shake from the meteors impacting the Earth.
Well, NASA confirmed that it was a meteor in a statement but added that meteorites are typically not dangerous, saying “Although meteorites tend to hit Earth’s atmosphere at high speeds, they slow as they travel through the atmosphere, breaking into small fragments before hitting the ground. Meteorites cool rapidly and generally are not a risk to the public.”
Further, NASA, in its report on the incident, noted that “The angle and speed of entry, along with signatures in weather radar imagery, are consistent with other naturally occurring meteorite falls. Radar and other data indicate that meteorites did reach the ground from this event.”
Continuing, the NASA statement went on to say “The meteor seen in the skies above McAllen is a reminder of the need for NASA and other organizations to increase our understanding and protection of Earth, to combine scientific and engineering expertise to advance human space exploration, to integrate terrestrial and planetary research for furthering our understanding of the solar system, and to promote successful space missions by mitigating risk.”
NASA also encouraged those who find fragments of the meteorite to turn them in to the Smithsonian so that they can be studied, saying “When samples such as the remnants of this event are collected and studied, they enhance our understanding of the origin and evolution of our solar system and our local natural space debris environment.”
Fox 4 News added more details in a report on the incident, writing:
NASA confirmed a meteor that was about 2 feet wide and weighed roughly 1,000 pounds fell in South Texas.
Experts believe the space rock broke into several pieces before hitting the ground around 6 p.m. Wednesday near McAllen, Texas.
Watch the incident here:
The US National Weather Service Brownsville posted about the matter on Facebook, saying:
We have received reports of a possible meteor/fireball in the sky earlier this evening west of McAllen. One of the tools we use at the NWS is called the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM). The GLM sensor is located on NOAA’s GOES-East and GOES-West satellites. GLM measures total lightning as observed from space. The GLM measures emitted light and other optical properties. There was no ongoing thunderstorm activity in the Valley but the GLM still detected a signal at around 523 PM CST Feb 15 per the images below. The product below is called Flash Extent Density and is one of the more common GLM products.
By: Will Tanner. Follow me on Twitter @Will_Tanner_1
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