Russian rocket said to have caused fireball over West Texas

The bright, falling objects were reportedly seen from the Big Bend area to Lubbock
Viewers share their perspective of the celestial show that was put on Saturday morning
Published: Jul. 18, 2020 at 6:53 AM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -


The Twitter account for Dr. Marco Langbroek reports that the fireball that was spotted over West Texas early Saturday morning was actually caused by a Russian rocket stage that broke up upon reentry to the atmosphere.

Dr. Langbroek says that the Kosmos 2542 rocket was launched in 2019.

Dr. Langbroek is a Dutch archaeologist (PhD) & SSA consultant along with an interest in astronomy and related fields.

Did you see the brilliant celestial show that was put on early Saturday morning?

What appeared to be something breaking up right above West Texas caused many bright objects to streak across the night’s sky!

There were several videos and photos posted to social media leaving many people baffled and stunned about what they had witnessed.

CBS7 News reached out to the National Weather Service in Midland. Forecasters there did not witness it but did hear about the event.

We also reached out to the McDonald Observatory in Jeff Davis County to get more information on what happened Saturday morning. We are waiting to hear back.

CBS7 did a quick search on the American Meteor Society’s ‘Report a Fireball’ page and found at least 11 fireball reports from West Texas and the immediate area from midnight to 6:45 AM.

That page also revealed dozens of other reports from across Texas as well. We cannot confirm this is all from the same event over the Permian Basin.

We clicked on a fireball report out of the McDonald Observatory which read “Two main pieces and hundreds of minor ones falling below.”

Another report out of Monahans said “Several trails of fragments and possibly more than 1 originating source. Looked like it was breaking apart.”

And finally, another from Pecos says “At first it seemed like it was coming from the airport maybe and like a plane was on fire or exploding but it was going too fast and still heading up to over my head and continuing fiery and exploding before I was able to realize what it was or wasn’t.”

If you would like to report the fireball if you saw it, click here!

If you have any photos/videos of what happened send it our way! You can send us a message on Facebook or send an email to

CBS7 will continue to update this story as we gather more information on the fireball.

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