UPDATE: Fiery debris not from satellites - KXXV Central Texas News Now


UPDATE: Fiery debris not from satellites

by Adam Amaro and Eric Gemmell

WACO - The U.S. Strategic Command now says there's no relation between the collision of two satellites over Siberia last week and the weekend shower of fireballs over Texas.

"The house shook.  It was like an earthquake," said Mart resident Joyce Schneider.

Around 11 a.m. Sunday, News Channel 25 was flooded with calls from viewers who say they saw fiery streaks in the sky.  The shaking and loud noise could be attributed to a possible sonic boom from the falling debris, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig.

"The noise was loud enough to hear over the chainsaw," said Charles Torres who was working outside at the time of the incident.

What looked like a fireball streaked across the Texas sky Sunday morning, leading many people to call authorities to report seeing falling debris.

An expert at NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office says some of the only known footage of the debris, taken by a news photographer during the Austin marathon, looks just like a natural meteor hitting Earth's atmosphere at about 12.5 miles per second.

That's a huge sigh of relief for some residents who didn't want to watch history repeat itself over Texas skies.

"It reminded me of the Space Shuttle [Columbia].  It was a little scary," said Ron Sipe near Riesel, about 15 miles southeast of Waco.

The FAA notified pilots on Saturday to be aware of possible space debris after a collision Tuesday between U.S. and Russian communication satellites. The chief of Russia's Mission Control says clouds of debris from the collision will circle Earth for thousands of years and threaten numerous satellites.

There were some unconfirmed reports of debris falling that may have sparked some grass fires north of the Waco Area.

While no intact debris has been found, The Department of Public Safety warns anyone who may come across the objects to stay away and to call local law enforcement.

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