Rare, Unexplained Daytime Fireball Scorches Texas Sky
Natalie Wolchover, Life's Little Mysteries Staff Writer
Date: 10 April 2012 Time: 11:21 AM ET
|A rare daytime fireball streaked across the Texas sky April 4.
CREDIT: YouTube | Celestialconvergence
A great ball of fire streaked across the Texas sky during the daytime last week, much to the surprise of thousands of people who witnessed it. So bright that it looked "like a little piece of the sun falling," as one San Antonio resident told the local news station, the rare daytime meteor event was yet another example of the scientific mystery known as spring fireball season.
According to NASA, 30 years of observations show that there's a consistent uptick in the number of fireballs — meteors that glow brighter than the planets as they scorch through Earth's atmosphere — during the spring compared with other times of the year. "There are two peaks: one around February and the other at the end of March and early April," said Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "And this remains a mystery."
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