Authorities are investigating a possible meteorite impact in the city of Mission, south Texas, after numerous residents in the area reported an explosion that shook their homes on February 15, 2023. Our analysis points to a meteoroid exploding over the region, with some pieces likely surviving the atmospheric entry.

Cesar Torres, chief of police in Mission, Texas, said officials were inundated with calls describing a large explosion and homes shaking at about 23:30 UTC (17:30 CST) on Wednesday, February 15.

The event created panic throughout the city, Torres said, adding that other area law enforcement agencies received similar calls but no damages or injuries have been reported.

According to Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra, Houston Air Traffic Control received reports from two aircraft that spotted a meteor west of McAllen, located approximately 3.7 kilometers (6 miles) from Mission.

In addition, Geostationary Lightning Mappers aboard GOES-16 detected a flash with no storms at 23:24 UTC (17:24 CST), confirming this was most likely a meteor entering our atmosphere and exploding over the region.

It’s possible there are pieces of the object scattered in the region.

It is worth noting that actual meteorite impacts are relatively rare events, but they do happen. In fact, the Earth is bombarded by tons of meteorites every day but most of them are too small to survive the trip through our atmosphere and they burn up before reaching the ground.

While larger meteorites can cause damage upon impact, they are much less common. However, we’ve seen and documented several such events over the past couple of years. One of the recent ones smashed through a roof of a house in British Columbia, Canada on October 3, 2021.