By: The Intel Hub
February 2, 2012
February 2, 2012
For many Texas residents the evening of February 1, 2012 revealed to them something inside our atmosphere burning brightly white, green, and blue on its way to Earth.
Shortly after [20:00:00 CST (-6 UTC)] it was announced on local news and weather websites that over 400 eyewitnesses filed reports.
The Latest World Meteorites and Meteor News has corresponding footage of the event was captured on at least five different cameras and video recorders. The skies over Texas are always being watched and this event demonstrates the importance of citizen journalists (or Intel Soldiers as The Intel Hub would say).
Rob Horn makes one of the first reports from Edgewood, Texas at 7:59 PM.
He saw it move from 10 o’clock high in the sky in the west to three o’clock low in the East as “It disappeared over a tree line”. He was facing north and noticed a glare on the ground and said;
“Looking up I saw a solid object about 10 o’clock traveling west to east at approximately 12 o’clock the object started breaking up.”
He said that it continued along its way and at approximately 1:30 the object faded to black leaving a visible trail of smoke till he lost sight of it. He adds that five seconds after losing sight he was surprised by a loud boom followed by two or three smaller booms.
Radio show host John Zaskoda was the first to report the event to this amateur astronomer via Skype at 8:54PM CST.
“Big fireball and sonic boom here tonight.”
He said that the news was all over Facebook already in that it happened approximately a half an hour before.
“Seen all over Texas.”
He added that he did not observe the fireball but heard the sonic boom that came after it. His description of the sight according to other reports he had heard was that it was a 3 to 7 second green flame that broke apart into the a few pieces. Knowing how interested I am in the space outside our atmosphere he thought it would be wise to alert me to what he had been hearing about the events.
UPDATE: 8:25AM February 2, 2012
Mr. Zaskoda, John’s father, spoke to him last night and this message was relayed to me this morning;
”It was the most spectacular thing I have every seen.”
That’s coming from what he describes as a country man with nothing but honest living in his background.
There was not much you could do last night after such a report. The way it works is the next morning will always bring more information and news about the things that people saw the night before. If thousands of people see something flying east to west in the night sky overhead, the internet is the first way some of those people will report what they just saw. Especially if it’s the most fantastic sight they’ve ever seen in the night sky.
Reading through hundreds of detailed reports of the sighting this author takes away from an event he did not see the fact that it was burning green, dripping fire, and ended with the sound of sonic booms. Let the 2012 records show this to be the most viewed and reported meteor this year.
The object moved from Southwest to Northeast over all of Texas and could be seen as far as Oklahoma City. The event was short-lived but witnessed by thousands and reported by hundreds of people. The following few reports gives the interpretation of the event as given by the viewer that will allow you to see how seeing the meteor can differ depending on which side of the path you are on.
At 7:59 central time in Mansfield, Texas Stephen D Marino saw the event for 10 to 13 seconds and states that it started initially white to yellow then changed to green and blue along the edges before burning out. “There was silence and then about 8:09 a sonic boom was heard.”
An Examiner report reads;
Around 8 p.m. OKC viewers who were outside likely saw a huge fireball shoot across the sky. Some people wondered “is that a UFO?” Most people probably thought it was a meteor, or something else, but it was a really big one. OKC viewers described the sight in the night sky as “awesome.”The FAA confirmed that the giant streak of fire was a meteor that was seen from Stillwater, OK to Waco, TX.KOCO Eyewitness News 5 in OKC announced on itsFacebook page ”KOCO chief meteorologist Rick Mitchell is going to explain specifically what many of you saw tonight across Oklahoma. So, we invite you to join KOCO Eyewitness News 5 at 10 p.m.!”
David Bowen of Dallas Texas at 8 PM reported he saw it for about a minute and said;
“It was traveling south to west. From his vantage point, as he was facing south, it traveled from 3 o’clock to 6 o’clock across the southern sky from West to East to cross just under Orion’s belt. At first it was bright blue-green in color and as it traveled east became reddish orange. Then orange sparks began falling from the tail. It appeared to be about 5 to 6 moons long including the tail.
He heard muffled sonic booms just after it faded away.
“It was brighter than the moon.It looked like a weak arc welder and it had a fairly long tail. As it crossed the sky, red orange sparks like fragments began falling from the tail.”
He was facing south and it looked like it was south of him heading west to east approximately 60° up from the horizon.
Some one who reported seeing it all the way in Oklahoma stated at 7:58PM CST that they were reminded of the NASA shuttlecraft Columbia reentry burnout because last night’s event was also an extremely fast and bright glowing object growing larger and glowing brighter until it went out.
Many more saw it than reported but by reading their reports you can tell that some saw it while they faced east and some saw it while they faced west. The line it traveled can be connected to the reports and as readers of reports we can tell that this event was more than just another meteorite. It was seen by thousands and now known by billions of others who are waiting for some truth to come from space. This report will go down as the first major sighting of 2012 and now the review of the information will begin to determine what it was we saw when we all saw it fly overhead.
This is what you miss when you’re inside your office running robotic telescopes instead of viewing the night sky. This astronomer finds reports, “after the fact”, can be more enlightening than seeing the object in real-time but missing an astronomical event such as this is disappointing at best. Many astronomers can find themselves behind the desk when outside, in the sky, important events are occurring; this astronomer is no different.
What is important to note is the knowledge we gain by following important events like this. They will prove to be important in understanding future events as described by amateur observers. Though this object has no name when it was being viewed burning up in our atmosphere, it may have already had a name. Currently we do not know what the object is except it came from space. It will be up to those who follow the story until its conclusion to inform the public what they find. The observations, finding the pieces, or covering up something important will be known when those researchers take over where the actual observers left off.