STARR COUNTY, Texas - A piece of meteor that streaked across the Texas sky last week, leading to numerous reports of loud explosions, has been recovered, according to the American Meteor Society.
Residents in South Texas said they felt the ground shake and heard the loud booms on Feb. 15, and home security cameras captured the moment the meteor entered the earth's atmosphere.
A photo shared on Facebook by the AMS shows a smooth, dark meteorite recovered on private property near El Sauz, Texas, by planetary science researcher Robert Ward.
It wasn't only residents on the ground that reported the meteor. Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said in a tweet that he was informed that air traffic controllers in Houston, about 350 miles away, received reports from at least two aircraft that they saw a meteor shoot across the sky to the west of McAllen.
The National Weather Service in Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley said they, too, received multiple reports of a possible meteor in the sky to the west of McAllen. The NWS said the flash from the meteor was also captured on the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) just before 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
NASA confirmed that the meteor, which was about 2 feet wide and weighed about 1,000 lbs, hit the ground in South Texas, according to a report from FOX 4 Dallas.
Scientists believe the meteor broke into several pieces before hitting the ground.
"Although meteorites tend to hit Earth’s atmosphere at high speeds, they slow as they travel through the atmosphere, breaking into small fragments before hitting the ground. Meteorites cool rapidly and generally are not a risk to the public," NASA said in a statement.