A suspected meteorite blazed over Texas, sending authorities scrambling to find a crash site after multiple reports of a thunderous blast that shook homes.
Two aircrafts informed Houston Air Traffic Control of the possible meteorite sighting in the sky west of McAllen about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said.
Soon after, authorities were inundated with more than 100 calls from residents who’d either spotted a suspected meteorite — or said they had “heard the earth shake,” Valley Central reported.
Some residents told authorities the blast was so big their homes started shaking.
The sheriff said authorities hadn’t yet been able to find the “exact point of impact,” adding that “no reports of any damage in that area has been received.”
The National Weather Service said there’s so far been no official confirmation of a meteorite. But the agency shared images from a Geostationary Lightning Mapper, which measures lightning as observed from space.
The mapper detected a signal at 5:23 p.m. Wednesday — but there were “no storms around” at the time.
“For those asking what these images mean: It means there was a flash in the atmosphere that was bright enough for our (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) satellites to detect at or around 5:23 p.m. today,” the service said.
Meteorites can range in size from dust grains to small asteroids, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration — and are so-named only when they survive a trip through the atmosphere and make contact with the ground.
If it doesn’t hit the earth, it’s referred to as a meteor, NASA said.