- A green meteorite crossed part of Australia
- This color is related to its formation
- The meteorite fall does not pose any immediate danger to humans.
On May 20 at 9:22 pm (local time), hundreds of thousands of people in the Australian state of Queensland saw a huge streak of “green ball of fire” across the sky. According to astrophysicist Brad Tucker of the National University of Canberra, it’s actually a meteorite that almost crossed Australia 150,000 km / h.
According to the scientist, this meteorite exploded in the atmosphere too far from the surface to leave a crater in the Australian desert. If this explosion did not cause any harm, then it could be heard by the people of the region thousands of kilometers away.
Croydon was very well situated on the path of the meteor to witness this impressive spectacle but without real danger. Residents could see a green path before hearing a deafening sonic boom. The color of this track, far from being common, is related to the formation of the meteorite.
According to scientists, the green color appears during the combustion of nickel and iron in the lower layers of the atmosphere. With the friction of the air, the meteorite, also composed of water ice, melts and takes on a certain color depending on its composition.
A meteor lit up the night sky in Cairns, Australia. CCTV footage captured the green flash as he fell to the ground pic.twitter.com/roAkVX5vSL
Reuters May 23, 2023
Meteors: a sight without danger?
It is very common to see meteors crossing the Earth’s sky. When the Earth approaches “swarms” we can witness “nights of shooting stars”. The best known is certainly the appearance of the Pleiades in the middle of summer in the northern hemisphere.
By touching the upper layers of the atmosphere, these rocky pieces, sometimes as large as a 2-euro coin, quickly disintegrate, taking the form of a bright star in the sky. Meteorites on their side are very different. It is not a matter of “swarms” that the Earth will encounter as it orbits the sun.
These chunks of rock, usually the size of a small refrigerator or car, come from far in the solar system. The rocks come mostly from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. For some unknown reason (mostly a collision), the meteor will leave its trajectory and approach the Sun.
1000 years of calm before the meteorites return
By “falling” under the action of gravitational forces, it can pass close to the Earth and a small part of it enters the atmosphere of our planet. Then meteorites become meteorites. If such falls are frequent (there are several dozen per year), then in 99% of cases they are without danger.
As in the case of this example in Australia, the meteorite explodes in the atmosphere, without causing the slightest harm to the Earth. This is not always the case, and some of the “heavenly cars” were indeed more devastating. In order to protect itself from this danger coming from space, NASA is working to list all meteorites that are likely to cross our path.
According to its latest report on the subject, the US space agency estimates that humanity is not in danger for the next thousand years. The next large asteroid to pass close to Earth should be Bennu (500 km in diameter). The latter will not be far from us in 2135, but the probability that it will collide with our planet will be about 0.05%.
“Travel aficionado. Incurable bacon specialist. Tv evangelist. Wannabe internet enthusiast. Typical creator.”