Video does not show meteor over Texas
A video of a bright object shooting into the sky has been shared on social media alongside claims that the footage captures a meteor over Mission, Texas. But this is false; the clip was shot in Daytona Beach, Florida, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) says it likely shows a launch from the nearby Kennedy Space Center.
"A meteor fell in Mission, Texas today around 5-5:30 pm, making a loud bang, shaking house in a 10 mile radius. This was filmed over McAllen. 6 miles from Mission," says a February 15, 2023 tweet.
The claim spread to other social media platforms including Facebook and TikTok, where one post received more than 443,000 views.
This was not long after the mid-February shootdowns of a Chinese surveillance balloon and three other unidentified objects over North America, which inspired a frenzy of space-related posts and speculation online.
According to NASA, space objects streaking across the atmosphere may burn up and create fireballs or meteors. Those surviving the trip through the atmosphere and hitting the ground are known as meteorites.
This year, NASA has reported three meteorite falls in the US. One fell in Oklahoma on January 20, and two in Texas on February 15. In Texas, one fell in the city of McAllen, approximately 6.5 miles (10.46 kilometers) from Mission, creating an atmospheric fireball.
Despite the video being shared on the same day two meteorites fell, this clip was not filmed in Mission, Texas, and is not footage of a shooting star.
"The video in question is not of the Texas fireball," Bill Cooke, leader of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office told AFP.
"It's too slow and lasts too long to be a meteor, but the big thing is that it is going up, not down. Launches are often mistaken for fireballs," Cooke said.
Cooke's team geolocated the video to Daytona Beach, Florida "latitude 29.225077 North, longitude 81.007499 West, to be precise," he said. Adding that it looks to be a launch from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida (approximately 62 miles or 100 kilometers from Daytona Beach) and probably captures a February 6 Space-X liftoff.
AFP also geolocated the video and discovered it was filmed at the corner of Harvey Avenue and Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Below are comparisons of screenshots taken from the video and Google Street View. The signage on the street and local businesses match.