General, Research, Technology

Why do meteorites turn green?

Recently, 100 kilometers from the AustralianTasmania, the crew of the research ship Investigator witnessed a very unusual phenomenon. At about 9 pm, the researchers noticed a bright glow in the sky and immediately realized that it was a falling meteorite. Since the ship has a camera for round-the-clock broadcasting of video, now anyone can watch the fall of a space object. The video is black and white, but eyewitnesses claim that the falling the meteorite was painted bright green... According to scientists, meteorites can indeed be painted in different colors. But what is the secret of the green glow of a falling meteorite?

People often see green meteorites. But why are they this color?

Why are meteorites green?

An unusual phenomenon was described in the scientificpublished by ScienceAlert. According to researcher John Hooper, the meteorite crossed the sky in front of the ship and it was a stunning sight for the crew. This is not visible in the video posted, but they claim that the falling object was bright green in color. And this is readily believed, because the fall of a green meteorite in 2020 is observed for the second time. And all these cases were recorded in Australia. According to the head of the Desert Fireball Network project, Eleanor Sansom (Eleanor Sansom), many falling meteorites are initially green and turn orange only when close to the surface of the earth.

Australian project Desert Fireball Network needed to track meteorites

Green meteorites are really not uncommon. One day, photographer David Blanchard posted a photo of one of them. During one of the meteor showers, he used a 30-second shutter speed on his Nikon camera and captured the unusual phenomenon. It is believed that meteorites turn green due to the high oxygen content in the Earth's atmosphere... When a meteorite hits the surface of ourplanet, the air around it becomes so hot that oxygen molecules change their structure. At the same time, they begin to emit green particles.

Photo of a green meteorite by David Blanchard

See also: Asteroids can change their color

Fall of a meteorite in Australia

After that, the color of the meteorites often changes toorange, because it begins to burn rapidly. The meteorite seen over Australia most likely fell into the Tasman Sea and, most likely, is already at its bottom. Based on its bright glow, it can be assumed that it was quite large. Near it, at the bottom of the seas of the oceans, hundreds or even thousands of the same space objects probably lie. The fact is that up to 100 tons of such cosmic particles fall to the Earth annually. It's just that most falls occur over the oceans, where there is simply no one to notice them. This, at least, was reported by astronomer Glen Nagle.

The fall of the Chelyabinsk meteorite

The thing to watch out for is asteroids. This is the name of the celestial bodies that move in an orbit around the Sun. In September 2020, foreign publications shared very disturbing news. They reported that an asteroid with the code name 2011 ES4 was flying towards our planet. It was first discovered in 2011, and during this time, scientists have already found out that its size is comparable to the size of a multi-storey building. Its maximum approach to Earth was supposed to take place on September 1, and some people seriously believed that a collision awaited us. Fortunately, this time it did.

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But in 2068 with our planet maycollide the asteroid Apophis. Its size is also comparable to the height of the largest skyscrapers in the world. It was opened in 2004 and scientists did not see any particular danger in it for a long time. But recently they found out that he changed the trajectory of his movement. The closest approach of the asteroid to Earth will take place in 2029. Then the collision is unlikely to happen. And what can happen during the next approach, you can read in this material.

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