South Texas meteor: Residents, aircraft report seeing fireball, hearing 'loud explosion'

A meteor caused quite the chaos in South Texas on Wednesday evening as people in multiple cities reported hearing a "loud explosion" and seeing a fireball in the sky, officials said.

Based on preliminary information, NASA believes the object was a 1,000-pound meteoroid that was about two-feet in diameter but broke into smaller pieces as it fell just before 5:30 p.m.

NASA says radar and data indicate that meteorites did reach the ground, but there were no reports of injuries or damage.

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Near the southernmost point of Texas, Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said on Twitter Wednesday evening that he "was informed by my Federal partners that Houston Air Traffic Control received reports from two aircrafts that they saw a meteorite west of McAllen."

Nearby, officials in the cities of Mission and Alton also reported getting multiple calls about a "loud explosion" heard around that time.

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The National Weather Service in Brownsville said their Geostationary Lightning Mapper, which measures lighting as observed from space, detected a signal around 5:23 p.m. with no storms around.

A satellite image shows a flash at the northern county line of Hidalgo County around 5:23 p.m., and a flash in the northwest corner of Starr County at 5:24 p.m.

NASA says small asteroids enter the atmosphere above the continental U.S. once or twice a year on average and often result in meteorites.

NASA does not collect meteorites, but the Smithsonian Institution has a collection, as well as other scientific and academic institutions around the country.

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This story was reported from Houston.