Night was briefly turned to day on November 20 when a huge fireball lit up the skies above Texas, which could be seen all the way down in Mexico. Videos of the phenomenon show a huge burst of light appearing out of nowhere as a meteor entered Earth’s atmosphere. Dozens of people went to the International Meteor Organisation (IMO) to report their sightings.
Karl told the IMO: “Fireball was green/yellow/bright white, very bright flash as it descended and faded out.
“Trail behind was long! Approximately 5 seconds from when I first spotted to light fading all the way out.”
Juan said: “Never seen anything like it… I was like wow!”
Patricia: “I was walking outside in my backyard when I saw this big bright light falling from sky with something like a flame trail behind it.
The blast was caused by a 20-metre meteor which caused such an explosion which caused over £25.3million (€30million) in damages to the small Russian city.
In 1908, a small asteroid surprised Earth when it exploded over Siberia’s Tunguska, flattening woodlands across 800 miles.
Neither of the aforementioned space rocks had been spotted before their approach past our planet, leading to fears Earth could be surprised by a more devastating asteroid strike in the future.
Jonti Horner, Professor of astrophysics at the University of Southern Queensland, says there is still a huge risk we could be destroyed by asteroids.
In an article for the Conversation, Professor Horner wrote: “The Solar system is littered with material left over from the formation of the planets. Most of it is locked up in stable reservoirs – the Asteroid belt, the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud – far from Earth.
“Those reservoirs continually leak objects into interplanetary space, injecting fresh debris into orbits that cross those of the planets.
“The inner Solar system is awash with debris, ranging from tiny flecks of dust, to comets and asteroids many kilometres in diameter.
“The vast majority of the debris that collides with Earth is utterly harmless, but our planet still bears the scars of collisions with much larger bodies.”