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That Unusually Bright Light You May Hve Seen Flash Across the Southern Sky Explained

“This was probably about the size of a basketball."

(Image: CBS Local video screenshot)

With the Geminid meteor shower expected to peak this week, those in Texas were treated with an unrelated celestial preview late last week as a fireball lit up their early morning sky.

(Image: CBS Local video screenshot)

Although not associated with the Geminid shower that will result in up to 50 meteors per hour between Dec. 12 and 13, Friday's meteor seen streaking from Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico is considered by NASA as unusually bright.

Confirming the meteor Friday afternoon, William Cooke wrote on NASA's blog that the event was captured by the agency's camera in Mayhill, New Mexico, which was 500 miles away from where it might have been viewed by some on their morning commute. Cooke wrote this "is very unusual and testifies to the brightness of the event."

CBS Local out of Dallas-Fort Worth reported viewers saying the meteor had a long, blue-green tail.

(Image: CBS Local video screenshot)

Cooke continued writing that there might be pieces from the meteor, thought to have originated from the asteroid belt, that could be found north of Houston.

“This was probably about the size of a basketball,” Cooke told CBS Local. “There’s no way that it would be taking out a town or anything like that. This thing was pretty small.”

Watch CBS's report with footage taken from a local's truck camera:

Watch the left side of this video closely and you may see where the meteor flashes (Note: the bright light at the bottom of NASA's camera is the moon):

As for the Geminid shower expected to peak this week, the best time to seek them out would be between 1 and 3 a.m., on Dec. 14 according to EarthSky.org. Depending on the weather, Europe and western Asia would be expected to have the best view, but EarthSky.org notes "you never know for sure which part of the world will win the prize.

(H/T: MyFoxDFW)

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