Civilians in the southern part of the US state of Texas were scared by a loud surprise when an explosion of a meteorite of considerable size broke out in the sky. The space rock flew over the town of McAllen on the afternoon of February 15, piercing the atmosphere like a terrible fireball. At the same time, the flight of the fireball was quite noticeable, so that it could be recorded by satellites of the US State Meteorological Service. According to NASA, the astromaterials research unit estimated that the meteorite weighed about 450 kg and measured about 2 meters across.
“The angle and speed of entry, as well as the signatures on the images of meteorological radars, are consistent with other natural meteorite falls,” NASA said.
The crash site of the space rock was not found, which made it unlikely that the meteorite crashed into the ground. But NASA concluded that after the explosion, it split into tiny pieces that actually reached the surface, “clogging” a vast area.
alternate angle: it shook the house a bit pic.twitter.com/vv9oR34Brw
— audeez (@disdikmark) February 16, 2023
The epic explosion caused panic among some residents. All this happened against the background of paranoia caused by the appearance of mysterious objects in US airspace in recent weeks. Eyewitnesses tore up the phones of the local rescue service, describing loud explosions that made their houses shake violently, and some even cracked windows, Dallas News reported. Even the local county police were taken by surprise: Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra recalled at a conference that an explosive wave nearly knocked down one of his officers. The meteorite’s fall and explosion were also confirmed by two fighter pilots patrolling the area.
This story is a reminder of the need to improve the infrastructure for monitoring meteorites and meteors, as well as the means to disseminate information to the civilian population.
Earlier we reported on how a meteorite weighing 7.6 kg was discovered in Antarctica.
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