A suspected meteor flash wowed observers in Argentina early Sunday — and sparked memories of February's more serious blast over Russia.
The fireball lit up the night in north and central Argentina at about 3:30 a.m. local time, according to accounts from Argentine news outlets. "The sky lit up completely for a couple of seconds and interrupted the calm in this area of Argentina," BarrioOeste.com reported. Witnesses in Catamarca, Tucuman and Santiago del Estero reported sightings.
Twitter users were buzzing over the fireball: A widely shared amateur video showed the green streak and flash in the background of a concert setting. Britain's ITV network reported that the footage was captured in Salta as the folk music band Los Tekis performed at an outdoor venue.
Jorge Coghlan, director of the Astronomical Observatory of Santa Fe, told La Gaceta in Tucuman that the object could have been a space rock about 20 centimeters (8 inches) in diameter that entered the atmosphere at high speed. "This object disintegrated at an altitude high enough to be seen for hundreds of miles," Coghlan said.
Other experts estimated the diameter at 40 to 45 centimeters (15 to 18 inches).
In comparison, the asteroid that came apart over Russia on Feb. 15 was thought to be 17 meters (55 feet) in diameter. That meteor blast created a shock wave that blew out windows and injured more than 1,000 people. No injuries were reported in the wake of the Argentine fireball.
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Alan Boyle is NBCNews.com's science editor. Connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the log's Facebook page, following @b0yle on Twitter and adding the Cosmic Log page to your Google+ presence. To keep up with Cosmic Log as well as NBCNews.com's other stories about science and space, sign up for the Tech & Science newsletter, delivered to your email in-box every weekday. You can also check out "The Case for Pluto," my book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for new worlds.