An open source global network of stargazers shared extraordinary footage showing a rare “Earthgrazer” meteor grazing our planet’s atmosphere and avoiding a certain doom earlier this week.
The “Earthgrazer” crossed the skies of northern Germany and the Netherlands on 22 September at an altitude of only 91 km, well below our orbiting weather and television satellites.
Unlike most other meteorites that burn in the atmosphere, creating “shooting stars” in the process, this particular lucky piece of space rock, probably a fragment of a comet or meteor, “bounced back” into space.
The mercury meteorite’s fortunate escape from a fiery fate was spotted by cameras on the Global Meteor Network, which forms an integral part of Earth̵
The GMN aims to cover the globe with meteorite monitoring cameras and inform the public via real-time alerts of impending space rock activity.
“The network is basically a decentralized scientific tool, made up of amateur astronomers and citizen scientists from all over the planet, each with their own camera systems,” explains GMN founder Denis Vida.
Essentially an open source planetary defense agency, GMN provides data such as meteoroid trajectories and orbits to both the public and the scientific community to help strengthen our observation methods.
So-called “Earthgrazers” are quite rare, occurring only a handful of times a year, during which time thousands of meteors burn, with only a few surviving and reaching the ground.
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