People who reported seeing a fiery ball of light in the cloudless noon sky today really did see an unidentified flying object.(from the Express-News)
The flying object has not been identified. But no one has conjectured that it held little green men with giant eyes.
It's likely falling space debris or a meteor, according to the National Weather Service.
Jane Marke, an amateur astronomer, said she was at a traffic light near the airport when she saw a bright light streaking across the eastern sky at 11:49 a.m.
“I saw a brightness of light fall from the sky, going very fast,” said Marke. “I would say it was about 1 magnitude. That's about as bright as you can get.”
I didn't see today's event, but I did see something similar and very cool back in the late 1980s (possibly early 1990s). That something was a Russian satellite.
On that night so many years ago, I was driving home from work sometime between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m., and I saw a big ball of flame burn its way across the black sky. It definitely surprised me, and I slowed down almost to a stop (don't worry; rural roads -- little to no traffic) just so I could watch the thing lumber across the sky until it burned out. I say "lumbered" because it didn't look like the streak of a typical meteorite. It looked big, and it looked like it was moving slow, and it was definitely burning. I could see real flames, and it took several seconds for the fires to burn themselves out into the blackness of the night.
I went home, thinking I had seen a meteor. And, since I lived alone at the time, I had no one to share the experience with right away. And then the next morning on my way to class I listened to the morning news on the radio and heard them announce that a defunct Russian satellite had re-entered the atmosphere and burned up somewhere over Central Texas.
I was ecstatic! I had seen it! I had actually been in a position to witness such a hardcore event firsthand, with my own eyes, and with the opportunity to slow down and appreciate the moment as it unfolded. I never found out if they located that Russian wreckage, and I have no idea what satellite that was, but it was very cool to see.
So I was a little jealous when I heard this news today. I would have liked to have seen it.
If you saw the event today, tell me: Was it cool?