It’s not every day that we accidentally record the fall of a meteor. Still, this is what happened in the Tasman Sea, where a research vessel on a mission managed to capture the images of a space object’s entry into Earth’s atmosphere thanks to its livestream camera.
The RV ship will go on Wednesday, November 18 Researcher was located 100 km south of the Tasmanian coast to map the seabed at Huon Marine Park on behalf of Parks Australia and to conduct oceanographic surveys and test equipment. At around 10:21 GMT, a very bright green meteor surprised the crew as it crossed the sky in front of the boat before disintegrating over the ocean.
Checking the footage taken by the ship’s 24/7 livestream camera, the expedition members were pleasantly surprised to find that the entire scene was captured perfectly.
A very rare opportunity
According to John Hooper, CSIRO Voyage’s manager who was on board the RV Researcher, it was really an incredible stroke of luck to be able to register the fall of the meteor. What they saw in the video really amazed them, especially the size and brightness of the object.
The meteor flew right in front of the ship, then disintegrated. It was really great to see the recording and we were really lucky to be able to film everything thanks to the boat’s live stream camera, ”he said.
Where do meteors come from?
Glen Nagle, a researcher at CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, said in regards to this event that capturing video like this is really exciting, but it also reminds us that space isn’t empty. According to him, more than 100 tons of natural space debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere every day. Most of these falls will go unnoticed as they take place over uninhabited areas such as the ocean.
Nagle explains that when a meteor enters the atmosphere at high speed, friction with the atmosphere causes it to burn and the kinetic energy is converted into other forms of energy such as heat, light and sound. . Many meteors were previously asteroids following their own trajectory, but they were eventually affected by Earth’s gravity as they approached our planet up close.
With her camera constantly working, this may not be the RV’s last time Researcher will be able to capture such amazing natural phenomena.
The video is available on the CSIRO Dropbox.