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Space Debris over Texas (or not) February 15, 2009

Posted by Sarah in science.
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The internet is all atwitter over the sighting of a fireball over the city of Austin, Texas, and numerous other similar sightings throughout the state(?). Speculation abounds that it may have been debris from the this week’s high-speed collision of two satellites in space, causing both to shatter to pieces – although the Federal Aviation Authority has not been able to confirm. After Twitter, blogs and local news, the bigger papers like the New York Times have picked up on the story too, although information so far appears to be sketchy and speculative. In any case I hope no one has been injured. Here’s a quick bunch of links for more info:

Twitter feeds of Daniel Fischer and Phil Plait, who’ve given many updates in the past couple of hours.

Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog

Local news stories herehere, here

New York Times story here.

Update: A video is here 

Update (16/02):  Read Phil’s new post on the incident, in which he argues the incoming fireball doesn’t look like space debris, more like a ‘regular’ meteor.

Update (16/02): The video turned up on YouTube, watch it below. BTW, those people are not running away from the fireball, they were taking part in the Austin marathon.

I’ll add more as and when I spot it.

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Comments»

1. cgweaver - February 15, 2009

just posted about it on my blog actually… http://e-cribz.com/the-gadgetteer

I actually saw the fireball in the southern sky here in Ovilla, Texas.

Sarah - February 16, 2009

Great! Thanks for the link.

2. SarahAskew » Texas fireball remnants recovered? - October 14, 2010

[…] astronomers from the University of North Texas have found what they think are the remnants of the giant fireball that streaked across the sky over the state last Sunday. While the flaming object initially sparked […]


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