UPDATE: Massive, unprecedented fireball sightings have continued in other states.
Many Texans, as well as Oklahomans, Arkansasanianians, Missississssiiis, and Louisianavilles, got a surprise visit from a spectacular green meteor, large enough and flying low enough to the ground to rattle some nerves and drop some jaws. Thankfully, the outcome was not the Apocalypse... just a great news story.
Habitual star gazers, and people simply looking up at the sky at the right time, reported to AMSMeteors.org seeing a fantastically large, green fireball light up their neighborhoods:
The past month and a half, the Texas sky has been a battle zone... the Perseid Meteor shower showed up a day earlier than expected, and ushered in a wave of entirely unexpected meteor sightings.
Like last night's. People used to seeing shooting stars were floored by the September 21st flyby - this shooting star's bright beauty was unprecedented. If you weren't lucky enough to see it, (like me, boo hoo), then step into the shoes of those who were. Here are some highlights from the many, many witness reports:
Excellent green color, very bright terminal flash. Best event I've ever seen by far. Won't soon forget this one.
But the story doesn't stop there.
Someone unsuccessfully tried to spread a rumor that the same night, a meteor stuck the Texas Capital (Austin, or Austin's capitol building, who knows) on Godlikeproductions.com. But instead of this gossip remaining on the site for all to scrutinize, the thread was removed...
...which, of course, just makes me wonder if there might actually be validity to it. Threads don't typically get removed because they're hoaxed or false. In my experience, they get removed for the opposite reason. I'll give the GLP mods more credit than that and assume this rumor is BS, however. Saying that, if you heard about a meteor crashing into Austin, please let me know! Witness reports definitely leave room for the possibility that a meteor could have crashed landed in the Lone Star State last night.
If Texans were impressed by this fireball, they are advised to hang on to their cowboy hats, because the best is yet to come. According to Texas Storm Chasers, this is likely debris from Comet ISON, which will arrive in Earth's orbit by December of this year. Astronomers guess that ISON will give an underwhelming show.
My guess? Astronomers aren't very good guessers, and ISON is already making itself known. Whether we get its wrath head on, or in a more indirect fashion, doesn't really matter... I have a feeling we'll see a ton more record-breaking fireballs before the year's out. Let's hope we don't get another Russia.