Because there are now thousands of satellites in orbit and billions of cameras on land, more and more meteors are seen lighting up the sky as they cross the planet’s atmosphere – after the bolide that lit the dawn in the south of Portugal, another incandescent rock streaked the sky this week; this time, about Australia.
The images of the meteor falling into the ocean off Tasmania’s south coast were captured by a research vessel from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia’s national agency for scientific research.
The vessel’s livestream camera continuously transmits live images, so it captured the moment when the meteor (according to the crew, bright green) crosses the sky in front of the ship and then falls apart over the ocean.
For the CSIRO manager on board the RV Investigator, John Hooper, recording the meteor’s fall was a fluke: “What we saw in the analysis of the images surprised us, in particular the size and brightness of the meteor,” he said.
The crash happened on Wednesday at 21:21 (local time), 100 km south of Tasmania. RV Investigator is in the area mapping the seabed and conducting oceanographic studies.
According to CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science astronomer Glen Nagle, “more than one hundred tons of natural space debris enter the Earth’s atmosphere every day; most of them go unnoticed when they occur in depopulated areas. If we’re lucky, your entry can be visually spectacular. “