49 votes
Accepted

Trying to identify something I saw in the sky

This is a rocket starting its engine. More specifically, this was SpaceX Falcon 9 B1061.9 launching the Globalstar FM15 mission on June 19, 2022 at 4:27 UTC (0:27 EST). The specific event from this ...
OrOrg's user avatar
  • 660
40 votes

Does a meteor's direction change between country or latitude?

If you see the same meteor, it of course only has one path - even while the apparent movement differs for different observers. What you basically do in that case is triangulation - which you could use ...
planetmaker's user avatar
  • 19.4k
31 votes
Accepted

Where is the Perseids meteor shower coming from?

The comet sheds material each time it get close to the sun. The sun heats this dirty snow ball, the ice evaporates and tears dust and smaller rocks with it. These dust particles then follow a similar ...
SpaceCore's user avatar
  • 3,003
30 votes
Accepted

How long between the moment a meteor is first visible and the moment a meteorite hits the ground?

I'm a researcher at Curtin University working on the Desert Fireball Network. The DFN is the largest fireball observation network in the world, and our primary goal is to recover meteorites with ...
Patrick's user avatar
  • 528
27 votes
Accepted

How fast would a one mile asteroid have to go for it to match the impact that killed the dinosaurs?

This is a nice little Fermi problem, and can be answered if we don't take it too seriously. The Chicxulub impact was 20km/s and about 10 kilometers in diameter (with a density of about 3g/cm³). Mass ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
21 votes
Accepted

Which kind of celestial body killed dinosaurs?

Definitions: A meteoroid is a celestial object larger than an grain of dust and smaller than 1 meter in diameter. An asteroid is a celestial object larger than 1 meter in diameter. A meteor is a ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

If two asteroids will collide, how can we call it?

They are both called asteroids. There is neither logic, nor science, nor even a convention of calling either body a "meteor", since meteors are strictly atmospheric phenomena, that occur ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
19 votes

Why did this meteor appear cyan?

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. ...
Barry Jenakuns's user avatar
18 votes

Does a meteor's direction change between country or latitude?

Yes, but it depends on your reference system. If the meteor was moving East to West over England, it would appear to be going Left to Right from Norway, but Right to Left from Spain.
Connor Garcia's user avatar
  • 16.3k
15 votes

How complicated is the heating of meteors?

Your analysis is correct. Compression of the air is the cause of heating. You call this "simple" but the compression depends on the ability of the air to flow around the meteoroid, and as the ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
14 votes

How to tell if a meteor video or photograph is fake?

The linked image shows a de-orbiting space junk (as Darth Pseudonym notes it's likely the remains of a Soyuz rocket that was launched earlier that day). It's not "fake" per se, but it isn't ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
13 votes

Does a meteor's direction change between country or latitude?

Yes, if the object is moving between the two of you then your reference systems are different. For example two people standing on opposite sides of a river. One sees it flowing from left to right, the ...
Craig's user avatar
  • 231
11 votes
Accepted

Did I see a mentionable event in Germany early morning on 6th of February 2019?

Fireballs are real but rare events. Meteors are formed when small rocks enter the atomsphere from space. Larger rocks or small asteroids will produce brighter meteors. The brightest meteors are called ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
11 votes

Where is the Perseids meteor shower coming from?

The comet releases lots of dust particles. The sunlight pushes these particles into orbits not quite the same as the comet Some particles will be pushed into faster orbits, some will be pushed into ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
10 votes
Accepted

If Earth had no atmosphere, how many people would be killed by meteors every year?

Three millions. For this answer to be any fun, let's first assume that before removing the atmosphere, we have equipped all humans with oxygen supplies. In return, they are not allowed to go indoors ...
pela's user avatar
  • 38.2k
10 votes
Accepted

Is it unlikely for a meteor to hit the day side of the earth?

Remember that the Earth, and the meteoroid, are both in orbit around the sun. As the meteoroid approaches Earth, it will also curve due to Earth's gravity. If you imagine the Earth to be stationary ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
10 votes
Accepted

What factors influence the Widmanstätten pattern in iron meteorites?

It’s been a while since I studied this, and meteorites are very much not my field, so I’ll share my current understanding but would welcome corrections from those more informed :-) These meteorites ...
Matthew's user avatar
  • 288
10 votes

Which kind of celestial body killed dinosaurs?

Based on the Wikipedia article: There is broad consensus that the Chicxulub impactor was an asteroid with a carbonaceous chondrite composition, rather than a comet. And it cited a paper which ...
Nilay Ghosh's user avatar
  • 4,461
9 votes

Is a wavy path possible for a shooting star?

I saw a zig zag meteorite in Bukuru, Northern Nigeria, when I was about 13 in 1959. That started from small to increasing swings, then went out near the horizon. For many years I puzzled about this, ...
Chris Barnes's user avatar
9 votes

How complicated is the heating of meteors?

Physically, the air in front of the meteor is experiencing adiabatic compression. The jump values of density and temperature before and after the adiabatic shock are given by the Rankine-Hugoniot ...
AtmosphericPrisonEscape's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

What would happen if Venus was hit by a Chicxulub-like meteor?

Question: Would the dense atmosphere and high surface pressure and temperature lead to a different result compared to what happened here on Earth? Short Answer: No. There will not be any significant ...
Kavin Ishwaran's user avatar
9 votes

Which kind of celestial body killed dinosaurs?

Your question asks "Which kind of celestial body" Meteorites and Meteors are not celestial bodies. Meteorites are not celestial, they are a type of stone that is sometimes found on Earth. ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
8 votes

Are meteors visible on Mars?

First Shooting Star Seen from Mars space.com 2005 The background image shows the meteor near the top-left and the horizon at the bottom. A red arrow shows the direction of travel. The inset ...
Keith McClary's user avatar
8 votes

How can I identify if my stone is meteorite?

Video evidence won't be conclusive. However the odds are stacked against you... Meteorites are rare, far rarer than gold, even rarer than diamonds, (though unlike gold and diamonds they can be found ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
8 votes
Accepted

Why is the Department of Defense so sure CNEOS 2014 is from outside the solar system?

Short answer By tracing back from the known position and velocity of the object before it entered the Earth's atmosphere, the claim is that is was never in the vicinity of any major Solar System ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 152k
7 votes

Why do most meteors vanish just before hitting the ground?

Only very few meteors actually make it anywhere near the surface of Earth; most burn up 75–100 km above the surface. From your point of view, however, the curvature of Earth's surface may make it look ...
pela's user avatar
  • 38.2k
7 votes
Accepted

Any record of the Earth passing through the tail (not trail) of a comet?

Earth passed through the tail of Halley's Comet in 1910. It caused a bit of a panic due to claims that cyanogen detected in the tail would cause harm: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halley%27s_Comet#...
Christopher James Huff's user avatar
7 votes

how big would an asteroid have to be to leave a crater on Earth

Roughly 25 Meters I don't know what you would consider a 'crater', because a pebble landing in mud will create a 'crater'. And very small particles can rain down as dust and make it all the way to the ...
Dan Hanson's user avatar
  • 1,161
6 votes
Accepted

Meteor shower from Moon's "debris"

There is a class of meteorites called Lunar Meteorites and several of those have been found on earth. Of course, it doesn't necessarily indicate whether we have actually witnessed a certain lunar ...
Dhruv Saxena's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What's the terminology of a meteor "ditch" when impact happens at an angle?

I think the answer to this is that it doesn't have a name because such "ditches" don't occur for real meteor impacts. In movies and tv shows, these ditches are often shown as being caused by the ...
zephyr's user avatar
  • 15k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible