The celestial rock was sighted from Jalisco, Michoacán, Guerrero, Puebla, Mexico City, and Edomex; the moment was recorded by several surveillance cameras, at different angles.
In the early morning of January 7, 2022, a bright celestial object crossed the sky at high speed and alarmed the neighbors of many states, who believed that it was a meteorite that would impact somewhere in the country.
The rock appeared at 12:34 p.m., illuminating the darkness of the sky. It was captured by the surveillance cameras that Webcams de México has installed in different cities, from various angles: in Guadalajara, Jalisco, it was seen in the panoramic recording, as in Uruapan, Michoacán, although there it was observed with less definition and during a shorter period of time.
In Puebla, the celestial object was registered in the objectives that point towards the Popocatépetl and Izztacíhuatl volcanoes and also, in the plane that looks towards the city, where the meteor was seen passing behind the iconic Ferris wheel. In addition, it was also recorded by the cameras that the platform has in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, in Guerrero, and in Mexico City, with views to the west.
In this way, it was confirmed that the fragment was seen at least in Michoacán, Jalisco, Guerrero, Puebla, and in the capital of the country. Users of San Simón de Guerrero, in the State of Mexico, also shared videos captured by surveillance equipment in which the passing of the meteor is appreciated.
After the alarm caused by the sighting, the Institute of Astronomy and Meteorology of the University of Guadalajara wrote a statement on social networks to clarify that the event that was seen on January 7 was a meteoroid, and not a meteorite, since it is unknown if it hit Earth.
“The phenomenon that was perceived at dawn in the Guadalajara sky was a meteoroid. These are light phenomena that when hitting the earth’s surface are known as meteorites. In this case, there is no certainty of its impact ”.
NASA explains that a meteoroid is ” a piece of rock or metallic debris” that travels through space. The fastest ones travel at 42 kilometers per second, and most are small, the size of a pebble.
“When one of these debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere, the friction it makes on atmospheric gases heats it to the point that it glows and becomes visible to the eyes. This ray of light in the sky is known as a meteor, ”he explained.
These types of celestial objects are popularly known as “shooting stars.” Typically, they only glow for a few seconds, before burning, and rarely make an impact on Earth. But when the meteor does not completely disintegrate when passing through the atmosphere, and its debris hits a region of our planet, then it is called a meteorite.
“Some of the smaller meteorites have been identified as moon rocks, while others have been declared fragments of Mars. Large meteorites that struck Earth long ago formed craters like on the Moon. The Barringer meteorite crater near Winslow, Arizona, is believed to have formed approximately 49,000 years ago by the impact of a 300,000-ton meteorite, “explains NASA.
The event in Mexico came shortly after NASA Meteor Watch reported in a statement that on January 1, a meteorite fell in Washington County, USA, unleashing a shock wave with the force of 30 tons of dynamite.
The rock was traveling at 45,000 miles per hour. It fell in Washington shortly before 11:30 a.m.
“We are aware of numerous citizen and media reports reporting sonic booms that were heard in western Pennsylvania a few minutes before 11:30 on January 1. The area was cloudy at the time, but the GOES-16 satellite ray mapper detected a strong meteor signal around 11:20, which would be the main culprit for the sounds, “the NASA agency said.