That loud boom last week? It was space debris entering Earth’s atmosphere

It wasn’t an earthquake, a gas explosion, a car backfiring or transformers blowing.

If you didn’t guess that the loud boom heard in our neighborhood around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday was space debris penetrating the Earth’s atmosphere, sorry, you were wrong.

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One neighbor’s post about the boom to the North Oak Cliff Neighbors’ Facebook page resulted in more than 500 comments. Some people also saw a flash. Earlier that night, there had been a fiery crash on Interstate 30, and there was speculation that had something to do with it.

We thought it sounded like a fireball, even though I’m not sure why I think I know what a fireball is supposed to sound like.

Neighbor Isaac Martinez ultimately solved the mystery when he discovered that his security cameras had captured the rare event.

KTVT got the scoop from astronomer Ron Dilulio of the University of North Texas.

“It was immediately apparent that something had fallen from the sky,” he told the TV station.

It was a sonic boom caused by a meteorite or space debris entering the planet’s atmosphere, he said.

Tons of debris hits the Earth’s atmosphere every day, but most of it is burned up. The stuff that makes it through is rare.

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Dilulio estimated that whatever hit Oak Cliff is about the size of a grapefruit.

Here is KTVT’s full story:

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