Fireball in Texas sky sparks astronomy interest

Dashcam photo of reported Meteor from the Hewitt Police Department, near Waco

AUSTIN (KXAN) — By now, you’ve probably seen the video showing some sort of fireball – possibly a meteor – fly through the sky above Texas Saturday night. The images are sparking quite the conversation. KXAN received two new videos Sunday, both from police cars. One is video from a Burnet County Sheriff’s patrol car and the other is from a police car in Hewitt, Texas, near Waco.

Lara Chorn, who lives in Dripping Springs, saw it while she was driving home from Lakeway.

“It was just a fireball,” she said. “From my account, it seemed like it was just bright yellow with a white trail, and there’s other accounts of a blue and green trail.”

Amateur astronomer Paul Lennous didn’t see the object but says it looks like a meteor to him based on the video images.

“Most meteorites are about the size of basically a dust particle that you see. Most of the bright ones — about a grain of sand. That thing was substantially larger,” said Lennous.

Lennous fell in love with astronomy in fifth grade. He’s an electrical engineer but still finds time for his passion. His favorite thing to track are galaxies.

“It’s very interesting to see something that is so dramatically far away,” Lennous said, “You know you’re looking at something that’s 30 million light years away; the light you just looked at was 30 million years old.”

The suspected meteor Saturday has sparked an interest in the galaxies beyond for Chorn.

“I’m going to get my hands on a telescope,” said Chorn, “I’m going to be parked out here and waiting for the big event.”

She hopes to see more activity in the coming days. In fact, Nov. 8 was peak time for meteor shower activity, according to the American Meteor Society.

Whether a star gazer or a lifelong enthusiast, astronomy sure puts things in perspective.

“If there’s nothing else you’ll take away from this hobby, it’s exactly how small we all are,” said Lennous.

The suspected meteor Saturday reportedly landed in Maverick County, near the U.S.-Mexico border. Officials there say people felt the ground shake. However, the National Weather Service says there were nor confirmed reports of anyone seeing the meteor land.

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