Home / Science / The meteoroid that skimmed Earth dipped 56 miles into the atmosphere before returning to space

The meteoroid that skimmed Earth dipped 56 miles into the atmosphere before returning to space



A meteoroid was captured skimming Earth’s atmosphere for a few seconds above Germany and the Netherlands before resuming its journey into space.

Astronomers spotted the bright cosmic object that crossed the night sky on September 22, while it was submerged at an altitude of 56 miles, lower than any satellite orbiting Earth.

The video was shot at 11:53 PM ET and shows the meteoroid covering a path of over 499 miles as it sank into our atmosphere for 19 seconds.

Western University researchers plotted it on an orbit of Jupiter’s family, but were unable to identify matches of potential parent bodies.

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Astronomers spotted the bright cosmic object crossing the night sky on September 22, while it was submerged at an altitude of 56 miles, lower than any satellite orbiting the Earth.

Astronomers spotted the bright cosmic object crossing the night sky on September 22, while it was submerged at an altitude of 56 miles, lower than any satellite orbiting the Earth.

Earth-hitting meteoroids occur sporadically – the last one to be caught was spotted in Australia in 2017.

This event lasted a minute and a half, and the space rock flew through Earth’s atmosphere at more than 35,000 miles per hour before returning to space.

The event of September 22, although it lasted only 19 seconds, left those on the ground in awe as they witnessed the strip of rock in the night sky.

The video was made by the Global Meteor Network (GMN), which is a team of amateur astronomers who have cameras around the world to capture such occasions.

The meteoroid was caught skimming Earth's atmosphere for a few seconds above Germany and the Netherlands before resuming its journey into space

The meteoroid was caught skimming Earth’s atmosphere for a few seconds above Germany and the Netherlands before resuming its journey into space

More than 100 people reported seeing the meteoroid and sharing the images they took of the event

More than 100 people reported seeing the meteoroid and sharing the images they took of the event

However, a number of witnesses also shared their videos of the meteoroid skimming Earth’s atmosphere.

Denis Vida, a postdoc in physics at Western University in Ontario and founder of GMN) said, “The network is basically a decentralized scientific tool, made up of amateur astronomers and citizen scientists from around the planet, each with their own camera system. “.

We make all data such as meteorite trajectories and orbits available to the public and the scientific community, with the aim of observing rare explosions of meteor showers and increasing the number of meteorite falls observed and helping to understand delivery mechanisms. of meteorites on Earth. ‘

The European Space Agency describes a meteoroid as a fragment of a comet or asteroid that breaks off and creates a streak of bright light in the sky.

Most of the rock has disintegrated in Earth’s atmosphere, but the recent visitor has not dipped far enough to burn.

Shown in the photo is a graph showing the 466-mile course that the meteoroid took as it skimmed the Earth's atmosphere.

Shown in the photo is a graph showing the 466-mile course that the meteoroid took as it skimmed the Earth’s atmosphere.

Western University researchers plotted it on an orbit of Jupiter's family, but were unable to identify matches of potential parent bodies

Western University researchers plotted it on an orbit of Jupiter’s family, but were unable to identify matches of potential parent bodies

Tens of thousands of meteorites have been found on Earth, but of these only about 40 can be traced back to a parent asteroid or asteroid source.

A Harvard study speculates that an asteroid skimming Earth may have come to life on Venus, which is based on the 2017 meteor that was spotted in Australia.

The team believes this meteor may have collected around 10,000 microbial colonies from our world and transported to another.

The study finds that in the past 3.7 billion years, at least 600,000 space rocks immersed in the Earth’s atmosphere have collided with Venus.

“Although the abundance of terrestrial life in the upper atmosphere is unknown, these shepherds grazing the planet may have potentially been able to transfer microbial life between the atmospheres of Earth and Venus,” the Harvard study reads.

“Consequently, the origin of possible Venusian life may be fundamentally indistinguishable from that of terrestrial life.”

Previous research has established that life is found up to an altitude of 43 miles from the surface.

Asteroids skimming Earth can dive 52 miles without experiencing significant warming – another lower would kill any life it collects from our planet.

Earth-skimming meteoroids occur sporadically - the last one to be caught was spotted in Australia in 2017 (pictured). This event lasted a minute and a half, and space rock flew through Earth's atmosphere at more than 35,000 miles per hour before returning to space.

Earth-skimming meteoroids occur sporadically – the last one to be caught was spotted in Australia in 2017 (pictured). This event lasted a minute and a half, and space rock flew through Earth’s atmosphere at more than 35,000 miles per hour before returning to space.

“Further work is needed to investigate the existence and abundance of microbial life in the upper atmosphere,” the study reads.

The team also notes that if a meteor from Earth enters another planet’s atmosphere, the hitchhiking microbes could be released into the clouds before the rock disintegrates into the atmosphere.

‘A future probe that could sample Venus’ habitable cloud bridge will potentially allow direct discovery of microbial life outside the Earth, the team wrote.

“Specifically, the ability to directly analyze microbes in situ or to return an atmospheric sample back to Earth will be key in designing a successful mission. Finding exactly the same genomic material and helicity on Venus and Earth would constitute a smoking gun. for panspermia “.


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