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Fireball Was Meteor Not Satellite Debris

By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-821022.mp3

Dallas, TX – The Federal Aviation Administration says the fireball visible by Texans Sunday morning was a meteor, not satellite debris from last week s space collision. KERA's Bill Zeeble reports.

It lit up the sky and could be seen from Austin to Dallas to East Texas. The FAA said it was a natural phenomenon - a meteorite. Noble Planetarium Director Linda Krouse, with the Fort Worth Museum of Science and Industry, says a hundred tons of space rock, minerals, and metal, hit earth's atmosphere every day. One scientist said this object might've been the size of a truck. But Krouse isn't so sure.

Krouse: Something that is the size of a grain of sand can give us a really nice trail across the sky that we can see with our eyes. When you see a fireball come across the sky that looks that large, 232 people think immediately "Oh it's enormous." But maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was the size of a basketball.

Krouse says at least 20 meteorites are visible every day. They hit our atmosphere at up to a hundred-65 thousand miles an hour.

Send E-mail to Bill Zeeble