Last night (Sept. 21st) around 09:01 pm MDT, a dazzling fireball glided across the skies of New Mexico and west Texas. "We've been getting a lot of calls in the newsroom about an object - maybe a meteorite - falling from the sky," says Peter St. Cyr of KOAT TV in Albuquerque. An all-sky camera outside Santa Fe caught the object in flight.

New Mexico Fireball
© Space.comNote: In the still from the movie above, the stationary light is the full Moon, the moving light is the fireball.
Watch a 5 MB movie.

"It took 23 seconds to cross the sky and was nearly as bright as the full Moon," says Thomas Ashcraft, who operates the camera. "The fireball made a sonic boom loud enough to be heard inside above fan noise and household din. At first I thought it was thunder."

After passing over New Mexico, the fireball apparently continued on to Texas. "At 10:05 pm CDT (9:05 pm MDT) on Sept. 21st we witnessed a slow-moving fireball entering from the west and headed ENE," reports Matthew Byrd of Amarillo. "It was very bright white and shedding white sparks." Remarkably, the first fireball was followed by a second. "Nearly 7 or 8 min later another was sighted directly over Amarillo moving the same direction," adds Byrd.

US Space Command reports no satellites or pieces of space junk decaying at the time of the sightings. This was probably a random meteoroid--and maybe two--disintegrating in Earth's atmosphere.