The US space agency, NASA, has released a report that a meteorite weighing about 500 kilograms crashed in Texas last week, in the Lower Rio Grande Valley region near the city of Mission. The rock, which fragmented as it fell through the earth’s atmosphere, was expected to be about two feet wide when it landed near McAllen at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday.
In its statement, NASA called for increased understanding and protection of Earth, combining scientific and engineering expertise to advance space exploration, integrating terrestrial and planetary research to further our understanding of the solar system, and promoting successful space missions by mitigating risk.
Although US scientists have indicated that “meteorites cool quickly and are generally not a risk to the public,” the meteorite fall caused a great deal of debate in the region and perplexed villagers who did not know what had happened when they felt the rumble. In fact, a home security camera captured the moment the loud explosion was felt and the birds flew away in terror.
Eddie Guerra, Hidalgo County Sheriff, reported that air traffic controllers in Houston told him that two planes spotted the meteorite in the sky near McAllen. In spite of this, NASA stressed that it is necessary to continue researching and increasing our understanding of these phenomena in order to be better prepared for possible future impacts of asteroids or comets on our planet.
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