The first fragments of a meteorite that landed in Texas earlier this month have been found.
A two-foot wide, half-ton meteorite streaked across Texas skies on February 15, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. The meteorite fell over McAllen, Texas, and generated a shockwave that shook houses within a ten-mile radius.
NASA officials believe the meteorite broke off from a larger meteor, allowing smaller pieces to reach the ground.
The pieces were recovered by members of the American Meteor Society.
Robert Ward, a member of the American Meteor Society, discovered the very first of these meteorite fragments on a private ranch in Starr County, according to the organization. The organization said that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) NEXRAD doppler weather radar allowed researchers to locate the general area where the meteorite fell.
Members of the organization have also recovered fragments of meteors that were spotted over France and Italy.
Mike Hankey, operations manager of the American Meteor Society, told Texas Public Radio (TPR) that the object that fell in Texas was larger than a normal meteor.
“The really hard part is knowing where in the radar to look, what time and what location … for this signature,” said Hankey in an interview with TPR. “But when you do find it, the meteorites are pretty much right underneath the Doppler radar,” he continued.
Hankey said that now that a fragment has been discovered, a portion of it will be donated to scientific institutions, where it will be analyzed and classified.
In other news of unusual extraterrestrial objects, NASA officials reported on February 17 that planetary defense experts were keeping an eye on an “unusually shaped” asteroid named 2011 AG5 in their ongoing efforts to record and track near-Earth objects.