What was that bright streak in the East Texas night sky? - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

What was that bright streak in the East Texas night sky?

Source: Little River - Academy Police via CNN. Source: Little River - Academy Police via CNN.
EAST TEXAS (KTRE) -

The KTRE newsroom received dozens of reports Wednesday evening about an object streaking across the night sky.

Reports came in the form of phone calls, emails, Facebook posts -- all concerned about a strange flash that quickly disappeared on the horizon.

KTRE viewers say it first appeared sometime between 8:00 and 8:15 p.m., moving from west to east.

KTRK-TV in Houston reports that the FAA has confirmed the object was a meteor.

TV stations across Texas are reporting similar sightings. In some areas, meteor sightings were accompanied by reports of a "sonic boom."

According to CNN, a police cruiser in Little River-Academy, Texas caught the streaking meteor on its dash camera during a traffic stop.

Most KTRE viewers described a similar bright blue/green fireball with trailing streaks. Some say they spotted "sparks" coming from the tail of the meteor.

Malisa Edwards-Thacker said she originally thought it was an airplane. "I've seen a lot of shooting stars. If that was one, it's the biggest and brightest I've ever seen."

Geoff Gordon says he spotted the object from Feagin Drive in Lufkin. "[It] was fiery green. It made no noise at all and watched it until I could not see it anymore. It was breaking up too. It had a large trail of burning debris behind [it]."

Shelia Hughes wasn't sure what she saw. "I was just visiting outside with my mother-in-law in the Stockman community in Shelby County and saw a flash."

KTRE Chief Meteorologist Brad Hlozek says events like this are not uncommon. "What made this meteor more awe-inspiring is that it was bigger and brighter than most we see."

NASA describes meteors or "shooting stars" as bits of rock and ice, the leftovers from voyaging comets and asteroids, that enter the atmosphere and burn up.

In 2008, NASA established the Meteoroid Environment Office, or MEO, to more-closely track, document, and study meteors. According to the agency, the All Sky Fireball Network "watches the skies with six specialized black and white video cameras set up in four states scattered across the Southeast and Southwest." The network's cameras provide overlapping views of the night sky, allowing scientists to calculate the speed and location of meteors.

As of late Wednesday evening it is not known if the network was able to capture images of the meteor witnessed over Texas.

If you captured video or photos of the meteor with your smart phone or even a security camera or deer camera, please share them in our See It, Snap It, Send It gallery at KTRE.com . Click this link to upload your photos or video.

Don't forget to share your comments about the meteor sighting in the comments section of this page or join in the conversation at our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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