Video captured an intense fireball shooting across the night sky over north Texas and the surrounding area, showing what scientists described as a slow-moving meteor.
The meteor was first seen about 48 miles above Texas Highway 11, between Sulphur Springs and Winnsboro, according to NASA’s analysis. Hundreds of people across Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma reported a sighting.
“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.
And while the fireball may have looked quick to the human eye, it was actually considered a slow moving meteor. It was traveling northeast at 30,000 miles per hour, going about 59 miles through the upper atmosphere before fragmenting, NASA said. Space debris can travel as fast as 160,000 mph, according to the American Meteor Society.
NASA suggested that the slow speed of Sunday night’s meteor means it was likely that a small piece of an asteroid produced the fireball.
The weekend had optimal meteor viewing opportunities because the moon phase allowed increased illumination, the American Meteor Society noted last week.