On Saturday, May 20, residents of North Queensland, Australia certainly didn’t expect to see a ball of fire rip through the sky, leaving a slightly green and yellow trail in its wake. A meteor lit up the sky over this part of Australia before crashing.
Queenslanders didn’t plan on seeing a shower of shooting stars like the Lyrids where you can see up to 20 meteors an hour. However, some were lucky enough to get out just in time. The photos taken by the locals who were lucky enough to see the meteor are impressive.
Check out photos of this meteorite that left a radiant green trail in Australia
At 9:22 pm local time, the meteor crossed the sky over Australia. It was visible from far west Queensland to the north of the state. As a reminder, Queensland is the state that occupies northeastern Australia with a coastline of nearly 7,000 km.
—Natasha Emeck (@tashemeck) May 20, 2023
A meteor lit up the night sky in Queensland, Australia, last night. pic.twitter.com/NdLL1ZeOaU
– Click Daily (CLICKDNEWS) May 20, 2023
Several videos of meteorites have already been shared on social networks and they are more impressive than one another. in these pictures, The meteor pierced the atmosphere, leaving behind a green radiant trail. Then, in a breathtaking display of cosmic fireworks, it descended towards the ground, streaming in a burst of light and reverberating with a sonic boom. “, says the local media The Canberra Times.
The color of this meteor impact comes from a chemical reaction
These cosmic fireworks were actually due to a chemical phenomenon. The green color in the light path comes from the combustion of metals, particularly nickel, which burns in the atmosphere. Richard de Gregg, professor of astrophysics at Australian Macquarie University, shed light on this phenomenon. In fact, the color of the fireball depends entirely on the chemical reaction.
” In this case, I would say the green color you’re seeing is related to nickel burning in the atmosphere, but copper and iron are also possible because they also burn green Richard de Griggs explains.
Also read >> Why are meteorites a treasure trove of information?
The celestial body in Australia was larger than usual, about 1 meter in diameter
Like the star that lit up the sky of northern France in February, this meteor shower in Australia was lonely. This means that it was not part of the comet’s tail, the emission of plasma and dust that is created when a comet approaches a star.
CCTV from Cairns Airport shows a meteor burning in the sky over North Queensland on Saturday night. pic.twitter.com/avKjOx82iL
– breaking aviation news and videos (aviationbrk) May 23, 2023
Meteor showers usually occur when the Earth’s orbit passes through the remnants of a comet. This time, the Celestial Body was indeed alone. It was also a bit larger than what we are used to seeing. The diameter of the heavenly body was about one meter,” It is slightly larger than what we normally see, but nowhere near as large as it might cause concern Explains the professor of astrophysics.