Breaking Up Of Meteor Captured By CSIRO Research Vessel Investigator

CSIRO research vessel Investigator while passing along the coast of Tasmania on November 18 at 10:21 UTC, or 9:21 PM AEDT (local time in Hobart, Tasmania) got an incredible view of a breaking meteor in front of them which occured for few seconds.

The crew witnessed an extremely bright meteor passed in front of their ship before falling into the ocean. The meteor is said to be green in color and it was first seen by the bridge crew and then reported to the science staff on the ship.

Snapshot of the meteor / Image Source – csiro

Along with that, a live video of the breaking up of the meteor was captured by the ship’s live stream camera.

Mr. John Hooper (CSIRO Voyage Manager onboard RV Investigator) said “It was a stroke of luck to capture this footage. What we saw on reviewing the live stream footage astounded us, the size and brightness of the meteor was incredible. The meteor crosses the sky directly in front of the ship and then breaks up – it was amazing to watch the footage and we were very fortunate that we captured it all on the ship Livestream.” When the event took place RV Investigator was in the Tasman Sea (nearly 100km south off the Tasmanian coast).

Position of RV Investigator at the time when the meteor was captured / Source – csiro

The size and shine of the meteor was unimaginable. Although the color does not signifies a lot about the meteor but the brightness of the meteor defines its size and speed.

Glen Nagle said “Over 100 tonnes of natural space debris enters Earth’s atmosphere every day. Most of it goes unseen as it occurs over an unpopulated area like the southern ocean. When a meteor enters the Earth’s atmosphere at high-speed, it is the friction of rock with the atmosphere that makes them burn, as their kinetic energy is converted to other forms like heat, light, and sound.”

“Many meteors were once asteroids, traveling through space on their trajectory. This changes as they pass close to Earth, where they can be affected by its gravitational pull. As they enter our atmosphere, they become meteors – and their entry can be visually spectacular.”

The most important part of the whole event was that the RV Investigator was present in the right place at the right time. The live stream camera which captured the moment was also in the proper position. Many others have pointed out that they have seen the meteor over Tasmania on November 18 but, no one could present the footage as presented by CSIRO research vessel Investigator.

Further, Mr. Nagle said, “Cameras are everywhere, in our pockets and around our cities, but they have to be pointed in the right place at the right time – RV Investigator was in that place and time.”

NASA always keeps track of a list of big asteroids which makes a close approach to the earth. Most of the small Meteors blaze in the atmosphere and provides a very small track of it just the way this one showed up making no harm to us or our planet earth.

Source – csiro

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