Residents in northeast Australia were treated to a spectacular sight on Saturday as a fireball-like object streaked across the night sky. The event was captured on video at Cairns Airport in Queensland, showing a meteor emitting a vibrant green light before seemingly crashing. The incident occurred at 9:22 pm local time and was witnessed across multiple suburbs, ranging from Barcaldine in the state’s far west to Cooktown in the far north. Some residents in Croydon, about 500 kilometers west of Cairns, reported feeling an explosion and hearing a loud bang.
Dr. Brad Tucker, an astrophysicist at the Australian National University, explained that the meteor was likely between 0.5 and 1 meter in size, categorizing it as a smaller to average-sized meteor. It was estimated to be traveling at speeds of up to 150,000 kilometers per hour.
The video of the meteor garnered significant attention on social media, particularly on Facebook. One user commented on the potential consequences if the meteor had landed closer to the sea, expressing relief that it had only hit the ground. Another user expressed curiosity about the landing spot, while a third user shared information from similar fireball incidents, suggesting that while the meteor would have landed, it likely did not impact the ground at cosmic velocity but at a much slower speed of around 300 kilometers per hour.
NASA defines meteorites as rocks from space that enter the Earth’s atmosphere and successfully reach the ground. These meteorites can provide valuable insights into the composition and origin of celestial bodies.
The sighting of the meteor in Australia captivated onlookers and served as a reminder of the awe-inspiring phenomena that occur in our skies. While the exact location of the meteor’s landing is yet to be determined, its appearance sparked interest and discussion among social media users, reflecting the fascination with celestial events and the mysteries of the universe.