A NEWS 8 AUSTIN videographer covering a marathon in Austin, Texas captured a fireball falling at a rapid speed in broad daylight.
View Larger Map of Austin Marathon route.
UPDATE: FEB 16 2009 — Preston Starr, the observatory manager at the University of North Texas has gone on record saying the object was probably a carbonaceous meteor “about the size of a pickup truck … a slow mover, and probably has the consistency of concrete.”
SUN FEB 15 2009 — Eddie Garcia, a news videographer, captured the image of a fireball at the Austin Marathon, and the FAA received “numerous” calls reporting a fireball descending in the sky from people on the ground from Dallas, Texas, south to Austin, Texas. Also, the Texas Department of Public Safety received calls from citizens from Dallas to Houston reporting sonic booms about 11 a.m. The marathon course was located just west of the University of Texas-Austin.
Last week, the Russian and U.S. space agencies reported that two satellites, one Russian and one American (Motorola Iridium), collided about 496 miles (800 kilometers) above Siberia, Russia.
According to U.S. Strategic Command, the satellites collided at 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) per second, producing 500 to 600 pieces of space debris. The speed of 6.2 miles per second is 22,320 miles per hour.
Late Sunday and early morning reports are circulating that the debris from the satellite crash is not related to the Austin, Texas sighting. “There is no correlation between the debris from that collision and those reports of re-entry,” said Maj. Regina Winchester, with STRATCOM.