A bright meteor lit up the night sky in Australia just days after another one brought “daylight” and caused windows to shake in Australia’s Northern Territory. The meteor that soared across the Australian sky on Tuesday is said to be as big as a small car.
Meteors Over Australia
Just days after a bright purple light brought daylight to the night sky in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Victoria also had their night skies brightened by a meteor. According to a spokesperson from Geoscience Australia, the meteor traveled close to the South Australia-Victoria border, and its location is about 400 kilometers south of Adelaide.
Astronomer David Finlay, who administrates the Australia Meteor Report Facebook page, said that in his four years of running the site, it is so far the biggest event that he has seen.
Meteor The Size Of A Small Car
Finlay estimated that the meteor was possibly 20 to 40 tonnes and was the size of a four-wheel drive, but Dr. Steve Chesley of NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory states that it was likely the size of a small car. Evidently, objects of the size commonly hit the Earth’s atmosphere three to six times each year and that the object that soared over Australia was actually on the slow side.
That said, when such objects enter the atmosphere at fast speeds, the pressure causes them to shatter and fragment. In this case, it is possible that pieces the size of a fist or perhaps larger might land. While it does not seem too big, that is not something that one would want to have land on them.
Finlay estimates that about 3 to 4 tonnes of material survived the atmospheric entry. It would be dangerous if they happened to land in a populated area, and Finlay notes that such damages would be noted through holes in roofs and cars.