Thursday, February 2, 2012
A meteor sighting over Kansas and hundreds of miles south to Texas has been stirring up a lot of conversation among viewers. The meteor sighting we told you about last night took place just before 8:00 p.m.
One thing we learn is these meteors are more common than we realize; it’s just that so many saw this one. A police dash camera even captured the object’s flight.
The meteor has folks talking, including WSU instructors fielding questions about the latest sighting and more. The first sightings were in central Kansas with folks near Salina telling KAKE News they had seen it.
It seems to have started its path through our atmosphere somewhere over Kansas and traveled toward the south. Because it follows an I-35 trek past Wichita, Oklahoma City, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Waco metro areas. It was observed by perhaps thousands along the way. Residents near Dallas and Waco reported hearing sonic booms as the meteor got closer to Earth. A police dash camera from a Little River Academy police car near Temple, Texas recorded the meteor. Program Manager for the Lake Afton Observatory, Bob Henry, explained what was seen.
"They saw a chunk of rock falling from space that was likely the size of a softball or possibly a soccer ball," says Henry. And this was once part of a larger piece.
Greg Novacek is Director of WSU’s Fairmount Center for Science and Mathematics. He says it is likely the meteor survived entry and fell somewhere in the Waco, Texas area.
Novacek says, "Things can be very deceiving when they're up in the sky. So, the sonic boom was heard over Waco, so it could be in that area. But it could be 100 miles or 200 miles from Waco."
So if this happened in the daytime you probably wouldn't have noticed it. His point is meteors fall all the time, but unless they fall over populated areas at night, they generally go unnoticed. This one was noticed.
Photo courtesy of Latest Worldwide Meteor/Meteorite News.