Texas Fireball Debris

Debris is being found in Texas after the fireball sighting from yesterday.

While the fireball was seen yesterday at a bit before 11am in Texas, there are reports of people in Maryland, Ohio, and as far as Ashford Kent in the UK who reported seeing fireballs last night much like those seen in the Texas video. The Maryland fireball was seen around 8pm, the Ohio fireball was reported as being greenish in color and seen not far from Athens around 10pm.

This is also posted on blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy

Hi, We were a bit bored today and we have the equipment in our lab at work, so we analyzed the video and came up with the following:

1. The composition is mixed metallic based on spectral analysis of the video we snagged and converted to avi from the tv station in Austin: iron (steel), chromium, magnesium, and titanium. All 4 spectral signatures are clearly visible as “spikes” in the analysis. There are other spikes as well for various rare earth metals. You can somewhat see this yourself as the color hue changes as the object breaks up in the atmosphere. We simply put the colours through spectral analysis and compared the spikes to known metals.

We adjusted the white balance based on objects in the foreground and came up with a base level to determine composition.

2. the object is very irregularly shaped or of mixed composition. That is, it is either spinning as it falls or it is disintegrating. This is evident in the combustion bursts as the object falls.

3. The overall density is high given the short tail combustion. Lower density objects would produce a longer combustion trail.

4. The object entered the atmosphere at a high at low velocity. This is based on known density, shape, trajectory, and burn rate.

The object is almost certainly man-made and medium sized. Based on density, trajectory, and rotational analysis, the object is approximately 5-10 meters long and cylindrical or oblong in shape. It’s composition, based on spectral analysis, is consistent with current technology.

We’re 99% sure it’s an artificial object of some type – probably a satellite or small high altitude aircraft.

If we had to guess we think it could be a high altitude reconnaissance vehicle that experienced an in-flight incident and got too close to the more dense layers of the atmosphere at the wrong angle.



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