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Did an Actual Fireball Shoot Through the Sky in Texas?

The folks in San Antonio, Texas got quite a treat earlier this month when an unexplained fireball, or rather something that looked like a fireball streaked across the midday sky.

“It was like a little piece of the sun falling,” was how one witness described it to NBC 4 in San Antonio. That news report became the go-to clip for people who wanted to learn more about this unusual phenomenon, but an inaccuracy in the report led many to conclude the light show was actually man made.

“Reviewing the video, it does appear to be a [jet] contrail,” says Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. He explained that a jet also flew through the San Antonio sky around the same time as the meteor, and the station erroneously used that footage. “But there WAS an actual daytime fireball over Texas on [April 2]. Two different things happening at about the same time, which always leads to confusion.”

According to Cooke, the most likely time to see a fireball, which is just an especially bright meteor, is late March or early April. Scientists don’t know why this is.

[Life's Little Mysteries]

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