Last weekend, an unusual meteor exploded in the sky over Australia, causing a strong green flash visible hundreds of kilometers away and a mighty bang that stunned local residents.
The cameras of the Cairns airport, in the state of Queensland, filmed the passage of the meteorite, classified as a fireball, at 9:22 (local time) on Friday (20). The video was posted on the airport website at Facebook.
According to the newspaper The Guardianthe explosion was also visible at Normanton, which is 600km west of Cairns, and the sound was most clearly heard at the town of Croydon, 100km east of there, suggesting that the space debris which they originated the meteor broke the atmosphere in that area.
According to Brad Tucker, an astrophysicist at the Australian National University in Canberra, the event was caused by a rock that was, at most, one meter wide. The object would be traveling at about 150,000 km/h, and any fragments that may have fallen to Earth are likely very small.
(Popularly called a “shooting star,” a meteor is nothing more than the glowing effect seen when space debris burns up as it passes through Earth’s atmosphere. Meteor is not solid, it is not liquid or gaseous, it is just light.)
As defined by American Meteor Societycalled bludgers, they are meteors that explode in Earth’s atmosphere due to a buildup of friction that ultimately causes space rocks to shatter instantly, with enough force to trigger a sonic boom.
“The friction builds up and causes this glow, and then it reaches its breaking point, which causes the huge flash and bang,” Tucker explains, noting that most bludgers emit a white or yellow light when they explode. “The unusual green flash from the meteor that exploded over Croydon was caused by a high concentration of metals such as iron and nickel.”
A similar green light can also be emitted by fireball-type meteors, which are extremely bright but do not explode with the same intensity as they pass through the atmosphere.
Bludgers occur in the Earth’s atmosphere with relative frequency. About three thousand were detected between July 2017 and January 2022, according to the Earth Observatoryof NASA. Most explosions occur away from populated areas or over the ocean.
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Source: Olhar Digital