A meteor recently flashed over Queenland.

The meteor has been described by various people as appearing cyan or aqua, so the blueness of the image can't be due to a camera issue. The colour doesn't appear to be anything found along the black body spectrum either.

What (chemical/physical process) would cause this meteor to appear cyan?

The Guardian: Queensland sky lit up by plummeting meteor click for full size, Source

‘I saw it come right down in the sky’: the meteor over south-east Queensland on Saturday night. Photograph: Craig Turton/AAP


1 Answer 1


The colour of a meteor depends mostly on its chemical composition emission spectrum. To simplify magnesium meteors are noted to have an emission spectrum which results in blue to green colour. Changing factors like adding additional metals and the speed of the meteor could results in a cyan meteor compared to a blue one.

Source: NASA on meteors

  • $\begingroup$ magnesium emission plus just thermal blackbody radiation might do it also $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 0:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .