A 'Minimoon' just exploded in Australia - BGR

Fireballs appear regularly in the night sky on the Earth. Depending on the size of the object that creates them, they can go from a short trail of light to huge explosions that send shockwaves for miles in all directions. The smaller ones are more common, of course, but the huge fireball that appeared over Australia in 2016 was perhaps even more special than the astronomers realized for the first time.

Comme ScienceAlert reports, reveals the observation of the fireball in 2016. it must be wider, producing a brilliant trail in the sky when the intense friction of the entry into the earth's atmosphere has torn it. It is now thought that the object is perhaps a rare example of "minimoon".

Most of the time, a meteor crossing the sky was just in the wrong place at the wrong time in its orbit around the Sun. . Pieces of space rock eventually collide with the Earth and, when they are too close, they die in a blazing fire. From time to time, one of these objects approaches the Earth at the appropriate angle and speed to enter an orbit around our planet, sailing around the Earth like a little neighbor.

In a new article published in The Astrophysical Journal. the researchers gathered all the observations of the Australian 2016 fireball using the Desert Fireball Network calculating the angle of impact on the Earth's atmosphere, its speed and other factors. The fact that the object was moving very slowly and the angle at which it fell on the Earth strongly suggests that it was orbiting our planet for a while before its bright light show.

For the future, scientists say that new ground-based telescope technologies can offer us the ability to detect and observe similar minunets for months or even years before they reach their destructive end.

Image source: NASA / ESA

This article appeared first (in English) on BGR