The fireball was sighted at around 5:36 a.m. by morning commuters who were driving down Texas’ 250-mile State Highway 71. Video footage shows the rock glowing with a bright blue hue before disappearing into the early morning sky. The meteor was spotted by Texas residents from Austin to Houston, and the American Meteor Society (AMS) said it received 48 reports of the fireball from people living in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
— Alex Caprariello (@alcaprari23) December 5, 2019
“It lit up the sky, and I thought it might have been a very close firework at first; we were running, and it was directly in forward and above us, so we had a great vantage point to witness it basically on accident,” one Houston viewer told Patch.com.
"I run most mornings before daylight and see many ‘shooting stars’ in a year. This was very unique and outstanding. Have never seen anything like this,” a resident from Richmond, Texas, noted.
According to the AMS, a fireball is just another word to describe a very bright meteor.
A meteor is a small body of matter from outer space that becomes incandescent when it enters the Earth’s atmosphere due to friction.
“Several thousand meteors of fireball magnitude occur in the Earth’s atmosphere each day. The vast majority of these, however, occur over the oceans and uninhabited regions, and a good many are masked by daylight. Those that occur at night also stand little chance of being detected due to the relatively low numbers of persons out to notice them,” AMS explains.