A space rock that turned Queensland’s sky briefly green more than a week ago was the largest of its kind over Australia in more than 30 years, the website of Australian public broadcaster ABC reported, citing NASA data. According to specialists, the rock did not burn up entirely in the atmosphere of our planet, scientists will now look for its fragments that fell to the surface of the Earth.
On May 20, the sky over the Australian state of Queensland, between the town of Mackay and the Gulf of Carpentaria, was cut by a meteor. A spectacular flash appeared in the sky, the sky turned green for a moment.
When the object exploded as it reentered Earth’s atmosphere, the phenomenon was seen 29 kilometers above Blackbull, a small rural town in the northwestern part of the state. Residents reported on social media that they heard a loud bang.
The biggest in 30 years
Australian public broadcaster ABC reported on Tuesday, according to data from the US space agency NASAit was the largest object of this type to appear over Australia in over 30 years.
It was the largest space rock over Australia recorded by US government sensors since observations began in 1988, said Ellie Sansom of Australia’s state-run Curtin University of Technology. – I checked every day until finally the data arrived. This is the biggest event ever recorded, she said.
They will look for meteorites
According to new data, the meteor was moving at a speed of almost 28 kilometers per second. The force of the explosion was equal to the explosion of 7.2 kilotons of TNT. Based on this data, scientists calculated that the incoming space rock had a diameter of 3.5 meters and weighed about 80 thousand kilograms.
According to experts, the rock did not burn up completely in the encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere. Sansom explained that if a celestial body is as low as 29 kilometers, a lot of small fragments, or meteorites, are likely to hit the Earth’s surface. Experts plan to look for them in the coming weeks.
Main photo source: Cairns Airport