Last Saturday, at about 8:45 pm, there was a bright flash that filled the sky to the south. It reminded me of those films you sometimes see of nighttime artillery barrages during World Wars I and II. Alex and I both witnessed it. It was like sunrise for just a couple seconds, and then gone.
But it wasn’t until yesterday morning that I learned what it had been: a meteor 4 feet in diameter and weighing 4,000 pounds had struck at Piedras Negras in Coahuila, Mexico near the border town of Eagle Pass TX, about 325 miles from here.
Hundreds of skywatchers from California to central Texas reported seeing a meteor that “rivaled the sun” in brightness—the American Meteor Society alone received over 200 calls, and local news stations received many hundreds more. People remarked about its size and speed.
It is really remarkable that an event so far away could have such a dramatic effect here. It drives home the fact that a larger asteroid or meteor strike could have a devastating impact on the whole Earth. NASA says over 100 tons of meteorides enter the Earth’s atmosphere every day, but most of them are small enough that they burn up before striking Earth. This was an unusual occurrence.
I’m glad we happened to see it.
Groove of the Day