A yellow-green ball of fire seen streaking through the morning Texas sky is not a harbinger of the end of days, a la the Mayan calendar ... it was just a meteor.
Hundreds of reports were received this morning from North Texans who spotted the yellow-green meteor streaking across the sky. On our Facebook page, NBC 5 readers recalled the sighting as "amazing" or "beautiful" while others claimed it was the early arrival of Santa Claus, the end of the world ... or, as one reader alleged, himself flying around in his Iron Man suit.
The meteor was seen at about 6:43 a.m. Central Time. NASA said Friday afternoon the meteor is likely a fragment from an asteroid belt and not associated with the Geminid meteor shower which will peak Dec. 13-15.
The latest news from around North Texas.
The National Weather Service said reports of the sighting were received from as far south as Houston and east into Louisiana. The American Meteor Society has been plotting reports of the sighting on their website, which you can see here.
NASA's blog reports meteorites from the meteor seen Friday are on the ground north of Houston, if pieces are recovered they'll be the first found since Ash Creek in February 2009.
NASA said the best window for watching the Geminids is between Dec. 10-16. According to EarthSky.org, the best time of night to watch for meteors is an hour or two after midnight when the "radiant point (the point from where meteors appear to originate) looms highest in the sky," though meteors are likely to be seen at any hour of night.
With a new moon on Dec. 13, the night sky should be plenty dark for meteor-peeping in the coming days. If you see one, and manage to snap a picture of the fast-moving rock, send your photo to iSee@nbcdfw.com and we may use it online and on the air.