A meteor streaking across the sky was reported as far north as Oklahoma City and as far south as Houston on Wednesday night, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
“We know it wasn't an airplane, so the most likely candidate is a meteor,” FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said.
About 8 p.m., aircraft pilots and ground crews reported seeing the bright white ball in the sky.
“We've had reports of people seeing this ‘fireball' from as far north as Oklahoma City and as far south as Houston,” Lunsford said.
“It was visible in a kind of northeast to southwest path,” he said.
Lunsford said meteors of this size are reported to the FAA several times a year.
“Meteorites enter the earth's atmosphere every night,” Lunsford said. “They're visible when things line up perfectly like they did tonight: if you've got clear skies, the moon is out and it happened early enough in the evening that people are still awake.” Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a meteorite as a meteor that reaches the surface of the Earth without being completely vaporized.
Lunsford said the meteor was visible for several seconds as it streaked across the sky and estimated its path was at least 500 miles long.
“To be seen over such a wide area, it had to be really, really high up,” he said.
The National Weather Service also received several reports about the meteor.