Expert: Fireball over Texas likely Chinese craft - Dallas News |

Expert: Fireball over Texas likely Chinese craft

TYLER, Texas (AP) - A scientist says fireballs that streaked over the East Texas skies before dawn were likely pieces of a rocket booster that launched a Chinese satellite into orbit.

Shanyn Beason of Beckville, about 25 miles southeast of Longview, told KLTV-TV of Tyler that she saw multicolored streaks of light shooting southeast to northwest over her head just after 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell tells The Associated Press that a Chinese CZ-4B rocket booster had been in a decaying orbit after lifting a satellite into orbit on May 10. It was expected to re-enter the atmosphere about the time as Beason saw the streaks of light, and McDowell says it's highly likely they were fragments from the Chinese booster.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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