Texas fireball lights up night sky near Austin

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A massive meteor streaked through the sky over Texas on Sunday evening, briefly illuminating the night before burning up as it entered the atmosphere. 

The fireball entered the atmosphere over Cistern, Texas, about 45 miles southeast of Austin, and ended just a few miles south of the state capital, according to the American Meteor Society. 

Hundreds of reports came in about the meteor across central Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. 

The fireball burned up after entering the atmosphere over central Texas.  

The fireball burned up after entering the atmosphere over central Texas.   (Armando Pena Jr. via Fox 7 Austin)

Several thousand meteors rain down on Earth every day, but most of them are the size of pebbles and occur over the ocean, uninhabited regions, or during the day. 

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A fireball is simply a meteor that is bright enough to be visible to the naked eye. 

The fireball illuminated the night sky for just a few seconds before burning up.  

The fireball illuminated the night sky for just a few seconds before burning up.   (Armando Pena Jr. via Fox 7 Austin)

“Several witnesses near the flight path reported hearing a delayed sonic boom, indicating that this fireball may have survived down to the lower atmosphere,” Robert Lunsford of the American Meteor Society wrote. 

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This fireball was likely part of the Alpha Capricornid meteor shower, which peaks on July 31. 

Fox News’s Jonathan Moore contributed to this report.