A pre-dawn fireball streaked across the Houston, Texas sky this morning and was seen as far north as Dallas, over 200 miles away. It was so bright that the unidentified flying object was spotted by NASA’s meteor camera some 500 miles west of Houston in Mayhill, NM.
Concerned residents contacted local news stations to report what has been described as a “huge shooting star-like object.” Local radio broadcasts immediately began receiving calls, many from people who were driving to work, with some asking whether the fireball in the sky could be a sign that the fabled Mayan Prophecy has begun.
The Maya were a mesoamerican civilization that are believed to have been one of the most advanced peoples to live in the Americas, having developed language, mathematics andÂ astronomicalÂ systems.
The prophecy refers to December 21, 2012, which is believed by some to be the date the world will end – Doomsday.
Though disputed by most mainstream science, some historians andÂ mathematiciansÂ have concluded that the date, calculated from the Mayan Calendar, will lead to massive changes on earth that may include floods, earthquakes, and solar events. The scenario was popularized in the Hollywood blockbuster 2012.
Despite some panic, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in HoustonÂ insisted that this was not a sign of the comingÂ destructionÂ of the planet, but rather, just a rogue asteroid originating from the asteroid belt between the planets Mars and Jupiter (which incidentally is theorized to have been created when a large planet-size object met its Doomsday).
“It is a meteor, most likely a fragment from the asteroid belt and not associated with the Geminid meteor shower,” said NASA spokesman Bill Cooke.