‘Incredible’ meteor images show glowing fireball in night sky


On Wednesday evening, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the Australian coast of Tasmania, those aboard the research vessel Investigator witnessed something incredible.At 9:21 p.m. local time, a bright green meteor crossed the sky before smashing over the Tasman Sea – disappearing from view in just seconds. If anything does make it through the atmosphere, it will probably soon be at the bottom of the ocean – a final and fleeting flash of lightning, before disappearing forever.

But luckily for us, this incredible event was not only seen by human eyes.

With VR Investigator has a 24/7 livestream, and with a stroke of luck the camera was just in the right position to capture it all.

“The meteor crosses the sky directly in front of the ship, then shatters – it was amazing watching the footage and we were very lucky to have captured everything on the ship’s livestream,” says John Hooper, CSIRO Travel Director .

“The size and brightness of the meteor was incredible. ”

With the footage of the incident being in black and white, we’ll have to take researchers’ word for the meteor appearing in green, but a green meteor is not as rare as you might think.

In fact, earlier this year, we wrote about yet another green meteor adorning the skies across Australia – this one being on the other side of the country in northern Western Australia.

“A lot of our fireballs will turn green and then turn more orange as they sink in,” Eleanor Sansom, Desert Fireball Network’s project manager at the time, told ScienceAlert.

While the color doesn’t tell us much about the meteorite itself, the intense luminosity of the fireball is a sign of the object’s size and speed.

“More than 100 tonnes of natural space debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere every day,” CSIRO astronomer Glen Nagle said.

“Most of these phenomena remain invisible because they occur in an unpopulated area like the Southern Ocean”.

While the volume of incoming space debris looks pretty terrifying, the small meteors are unlikely to cause us any problems on the surface. NASA has a list of large asteroids that it keeps track of, but most small meteors burn in the atmosphere and leave few traces, just as this one seems to do.

With all of this tons of space junk, you’d think fantastic meteors would be a regular sight. In this case, although there have been a number of reports in Hobart of those who saw the meteor, so far there does not appear to be any other images.

“Cameras are everywhere, in our pockets and in our cities, but they need to be pointed at the right place at the right time – RV Investigator was there and at that time, ”Nagle said.


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