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fireball seen streaking across Texas sky

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User ID: 125907
08/02/2006 11:20 PM
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fireball seen streaking across Texas sky
Strange Light In The Sky?

Aug 2, 2006 06:01 PM

It only lasted a few seconds. A bright light was seen streaking across the sky late Tuesday night, has lots of Central Texans talking.

In case you missed it, KXAN NBC Austin's Jim Bergamo shows us what it looked like and whether man or Mother Nature can take the credit.

The fireball that was seen streaking across the Texas sky Tuesday night was captured on a Lakeway PD dashcam.

As soon as the Central Texas skies lit up, the phone lines in the KXAN newsroom lit up as well. Inquisitive minds from the Hill Country to Buda wanted to know just one thing, 'What was it?'

"I thought something exploded," witness George Changos said.

George and Charla Changos of Buda were out by their pool shortly after 11 p.m. when they were caught off guard by bright, streaking light.

"It was just like mind blowing. Just the two flashes like it was going to rain, like it was lightning far away, then just a ball of fire going through the sky, and we both just sat there and went, 'Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh,'" Charla said.

Ed Cannon is an amateur astronomer, who showed us his chronograph, still set at 11:05:09 p.m., the exact time the light flashed across the sky.

"I knew it was fireball, a meteor fireball, but it gave me an adrenaline rush it was so bright," Cannon said.

Cannon is convinced it was a meteor fireball, and not space junk reentering the Earth's atmosphere -- even though a Web site that tracks orbiting space junk shows a Russian Cosmos booster passed over Central Texas at nearly the identical time.

"Normally a reentering space junk object would take a minute or two to cross a large portion of the sky, where as a natural fireballs are fast, four seconds, five, even ten seconds is probably a natural fireball," Cannon said.

It probably lasted only a few seconds, but witnesses say it was bright enough to light up the ground. Some saw the object split into pieces.

"I saw something very large and on fire that appeared to be headed straight for North Austin. It lit up the sky like lightning, and then it was gone."
- Matt, North Austin

"It literally lit up the night sky and had a long and bright orange tail. I thought something had 'exploded' in the night sky."
- George, Buda

"It literally lit up the side of my face and the cedar trees and the property. It looked like it was headed northwest and just split and lit up everything."
-- Patty, Hays County

There are some 11,000 objects orbiting in space close to Earth, and it's not unusual for space junk to orbit for years before burning up in the atmosphere.

Some might remember part of a Delta 2 rocket booster that landed on a Georgetown farm about 10 years ago.

[link to www.kxan.com]
Anonymous Coward
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08/02/2006 11:31 PM
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Re: fireball seen streaking across Texas sky
Streaking light.

Yeah, kinda of hard to discribe especially when seen close up.

Totaly awesome !

Plasma beam.
Anonymous Coward
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08/03/2006 12:17 AM
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Re: fireball seen streaking across Texas sky
Dynamo Hum

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08/03/2006 01:56 AM
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Re: fireball seen streaking across Texas sky
I saw a smaller version of this tonight east of Austin. There aren't too many people out here so I am sure it didn't get reported.
Making people nervous since 1965
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08/03/2006 02:24 AM
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Re: fireball seen streaking across Texas sky
KXAN.com User Comments John Michael, Pflugerville 08-02-2006 12:53:57
I am a truck driver and I was driving just north of Hillsboro, going south and it just kind of lit up the sky behind me, but not in front. I could only see it in my side rearview mirrors. There was like a little light then dimmed, then got really bright and it was almost bluish green. I immediately turned on my CB and some truck driver was saying it was "Like lightning in a snow storm". Strange very strange. Jeanie Malott. Leander, Texas 08-02-2006 13:25:29
My son and I were standing in the front yard in Leander when suddenly there was an extremely bright light flashing across the sky. It was like the brightest lightning I had ever seen streaking across the sky however it would get real bright then real dim. It was absolutely amazing to watch. Jason W 08-02-2006 13:25:45
I live in East Austin, TX near the airport. This light is exactly as described. I will also add to the conspiracy in that just prior to the light a dark helicopter with one small blinking light was flying low heading West to Southwest. Michael Brewster 08-02-2006 13:36:40
I was at the Austin Astronomical Society's observatory at Canyon of the Eagles Park in Burnet County. I was conducting an astronomy and telescope viewing program for the public when we all got a big surprise. The meteor erupted in the northeastern sky with a brilliance exceeding that of a full moon. It lit up the interior of the observatory and cast prominent shadows. It moved slowly and flickered wildly. After about 4 seconds it burned out. We were reminded of a roman candle firewords display. Pandemonium then broke out among those of us fortunate enough to see such a spectacle. It was the brightest meteor that I have seen in several years. David A 08-02-2006 13:42:11
People in Dallas reported seeing in the "north sky", so it was WAYYY north of Central Texas. I saw it from Burnet. Wow! Tracy 08-02-2006 14:25:53
Was there any sounds or noise associated with this light? I heard a loud thump outside at exactly the same time that startled me and my cat. Seems coincidental. Bel 08-02-2006 14:32:08
We were at the Chuck E Cheese on burnet rd waiting for someone when we saw the light.. We all just asked each other "what was that?" We were sure it wasn't lightning....That explains it.....This morning once I started to read this article i called my son to explain what had happened.... Percy 08-02-2006 14:49:35
It will happen again tonight at 8:55 tonight(Wednesday). But ,look to the southwest. It will be blue'ish-green.

Percy-The Texas Pagan TW 08-02-2006 15:40:35
WOW..I would have loved to see this, I am truely a sky watched especially clouds. Percy I hope that you are right because I will be out looking for this tonight. Rachel 08-02-2006 15:47:04
Percy.. I will be watching. thank you Debbie 08-02-2006 15:53:52
I was looking north from my front window when I saw the sky light up. I didn't hear any boom that would make me think it was thunder. Then, I saw the bright streak going down heading slightly northwest. It really got my attention. Johnny 08-02-2006 16:06:25
We heard a loud noise also and couldn't figure it out. It was around 11:00 p.m. It seemed like a small concusion from an explosion. It moved our ceiling fan in the living room. We called my mother up the road and she heard something as well. We heard the news this morning and we are putting the two together. Has anyone found out what it was?

The Duke family in Liberty Hill Allen Huskin 08-02-2006 16:16:53
sitting on the front porch watching satelites in orbit when a blinding light in the eastern sky traveling from the southeast to the northwest allmost blinded me and my wife. we are frequent observers of metor showers but this one took the cake. blue/green illumination with an orange tail. and then about the time you thought it would end, it split into numerous pieces and continued for an additional second or two. wow!!! some of the thing you see just staring at the stars. Francisco Gutierrez 08-02-2006 16:22:43
I was on my way home in Pflugerville from Austin driving on I-35 approching the 1825 exit when the whole inside of my truck lit up with this bright, blueish light; then I saw the ball of light traveling from the southeast to the northeast.
It scared the ******* out of me; but after a while I thought it was beautiful... Heidi Newman 08-02-2006 16:46:02
I was on my way home from my night class in Austin off of Hwy 290 driving on a country road just east of Manor when I saw a bright light flash, immediately I thought it was lightning but there were no clouds. I pulled over so quickly I almost wrecked my car but it was so amazing yet scary. I saw what looked to be a meteor falling near by it looked like it landed about 150 yards away. It was a once in a life time thing and I am glad I was able to see it. I really really think it landed some where in Manor because it was to close for comfort. It was a HUGE ball of fire that broke into pieces as it fell from the sky. I am SERIOUS I really think it landed in the Manor area but I guess we'll never know. Heidi Newman, Manor MoMo 08-02-2006 16:47:08
I thout it was a COMET............. momo 08-02-2006 16:51:30
i love chris brown margie 08-02-2006 16:51:47
I will be looking tonight. And I will have my daughter with me :) Beth 08-02-2006 17:22:41
Percy is "The Texas Pagan", I do not believe he knows that it will happen again. This to me was a meteor or some space junk. My husband saw it up in Dallas, so I doubt it landed in Manor.
Bryanna 08-02-2006 17:52:13
hey awesome there is a comet coming in tonight......... Doug H. 08-02-2006 18:21:21
I live in Texarkana and saw the southwestern sky brightly light up twice after 11 P.M. Tuesday evening. Although the skies here were totally clear and starlit, I had dismissed the incident as a distant pop thunderstorm until viewing the KXAN website this evening (Wed). Kathy 08-02-2006 19:15:57
I live in Allen, Texas and I saw it just after 11pm last night. I couldn't believe how big and bright it was. After it got low enough that I couldn't see the fireball anymore, I saw a bright burst of light...almost like lightning...coming up off the ground far away to the south. I'm glad I got to see it! Elizabeth 08-02-2006 21:15:43
Nothing in the sky tonight...at 8:55 per the "Pagan"... sorry I missed last night ERNEST 08-02-2006 21:37:02
My husband has two balls like that. Jonita 08-02-2006 21:42:59
George Bush passed gas Rusty 08-02-2006 21:46:06
I was out walking my dog near Bee Caves Road and Highway 71 when this sudden, extremey bright flash of light occurred. At first I thought it was a camera flash, or a transformer had blown out.I soon realized it covered the entire sky. I mentioned it tomy wife when I got home and am now very surprised to find that so many others saw it as well. Christine 08-02-2006 22:03:00
Please edit out the crude comments. Your station's credibility is at stake. jeremy 08-02-2006 22:27:41
yall are all wasting your time by posting on this.... and nothing was seen at 8:55 pm marko 08-02-2006 22:43:57
yo lo vi yo lo vi!!!!!!! 25 x 19 Deb in Smithville Texas 08-02-2006 23:03:38
Yes I did see it at approcimately 11:15 pm. I thought it was lightning & kept listening for thunder, but nothing else happened. MJ and JC 08-02-2006 23:42:05
We saw it too, driving north on I-35... first it looked like a greenish flash of lightning to the north, and then a large, bright greenish streaking object, moving for several seconds before it split apart. I knew immediately what it was because I'd seen a similar fireball in Colorado, maybe 10 years ago...