A new map shows where hundreds of fireballs, an unusually bright meteor that can glow more than Venus, has hit Earth’s atmosphere in the last 33 years.
The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory collected data from 1988 through 2021 from fireballs detected by government sensors.
The world map shows points, ranging in four different sizes and colors, in proportion to the impact (kinetic) energy of each fireball, the total energy a meteor brings into the atmosphere due to its velocity.
Scientists use the kinetic energy released by the fireball, sound waves, and energy at other wavelengths to determine the size even before it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
Using such calculations helped scientists identify the fireball meteorite that fell over Chelyabinsk, Russia on February 15, 2013, measuring 65 feet in length, the largest meteorite seen on the map.
Scroll down for the video
The world map shows points, of four different sizes and colors, in proportion to the impact (kinetic) energy of each fireball, the total energy a meteor brings into the atmosphere due to its velocity
This fireball exploded over the Ural Mountains, causing a shock wave that shattered windows, damaged buildings and injured 1,600 people.
The meteor shattered into multiple pieces as it entered the atmosphere, scattering debris and creating a shock wave estimated to be as powerful as 20 Hiroshima atomic bombs.
The second largest group of fireballs shown on the map fell primarily around the Pacific Ocean and neighboring countries, such as Fiji and other islands surrounding Asia.
The United States has been hit by smaller meteorites, although not as many as other parts of the world.
Using such calculations helped scientists identify the fireball meteorite that fell over Chelyabinsk, Russia on February 15, 2013, measuring 65 feet, the largest meteorite seen on a map.
The meteor shattered into multiple pieces as it entered the atmosphere, scattering debris and creating a shock wave estimated to be as powerful as 20 Hiroshima atomic bombs. The picture is one of the pieces
“More people are seeing meteors while showering because there are so many of them. For Perseids, there are as many as 100 meteors per hour,” Paul Chodas, director of CNEOS, said in a statement. “Fireball events, on the other hand, are very rare and can occur in any day of the year
Fireball counters: steroid fragments
Sometimes known as a fiery star, a fireball meteorite is a rapidly moving space rock within Earth’s atmosphere.
According to NASA, if a meteorite is able to survive this burning flight and hit Earth, then the rock on Earth is known as a meteorite.
Pieces of rock often come from asteroids that have been shattered by a collision or other event.
Some were pieces from other planets or even the Moon.
A piece of Martian rock that fell to Earth as meteorites is on board the Perseverance rover to help calibrate its equipment.
By studying different types of meteorites, scientists can learn more about asteroids, planets, and other parts of our solar system.
However, most of these rare meteorites that have entered Earth’s atmosphere since 1988 appear to have crashed over one of the planet’s five oceans and are likely unnoticed by most humans.
“More people are seeing meteors while showering because there are so many of them,” Paul Chodas, director of CNEOS, said in a statement. For Perseids, there are up to 100 meteors per hour.
“Fireball events, on the other hand, are very rare and can happen any day of the year.”
The spectacular Perseids meteor shower, which occurred earlier this month, saw between 40 and 100 consecutive fireballs across the night sky every hour from August 11 to 13.
NASA photographer Bill Ingalls captured a stunning image of a meteor passing through the sky on August 11, from the summit of Mount Spruce in West Virginia.
Some thin clouds remained reflecting the light from distant urban areas.
The meteorite in the image appears green in some areas, which Bill Cook, chief of NASA’s Meteorite Environment Office, said is due to the way the meteorite stirred up oxygen molecules as it impacted the atmosphere.
Cook also noted that the Perseid shower is particularly rich in bright meteors.
He pointed to data from NASA’s network of meteor cameras that cover the entire sky, which can detect the brightest meteorites from Jupiter.
“The number of bright meteors in Perseids dwarfs all other meteor showers — 30 percent more than the Geminid shower, which has better rates and also notes the presence of bright meteors,” Cook said in a statement.
Explanation: The difference between an asteroid, a meteorite and other space rocks
that asteroid A large piece of rock left over from collisions or the early solar system. Most of them are located between Mars and Jupiter in the main belt.
a comet It is a rock covered with ice, methane, and other compounds. Their orbits take them far from the solar system.
a meteor It is what astronomers call the flash of light in the atmosphere when debris burns.
This same wreck is known as a meteor. Most of them are so small that they flow into the atmosphere.
If any of this meteorite reaches Earth, it is called a meteor.
Meteorites, meteorites, and meteorites usually originate from asteroids and comets.
For example, if the Earth passes through the tail of a comet, a lot of debris burns up in the atmosphere, forming a meteor shower.