Video captured a brilliant fireball lighting up the Australian sky. And NASA confirmed it was a meteor the size of a small car.
- A NASA research centre confirmed that a massive fireball landed on Tuesday in the Great Australian Bight just off the coast of South Australia.
- People in parts of Victoria and South Australia reported seeing large flashes of bright white light at around 10:30 pm on Tuesday.
- The Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies in California confirmed that the bright light was actually an impressive fireball with a calculated impact energy of 1.6 kilotons of explosive power.
- Visit Business Insider SA for more stories.
A NASA research centre confirmed that a massive fireball landed on Tuesday in the Great Australian Bight just off the coast of South Australia.
The Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies at the California Institute of Technology analyses the impact time, location, and amount of energy generated by meteors and asteroids that approach earth. The research facility uses high-precision orbit solutions of the space objects to predict the risk of impact and supports NASA's Planetary Defence Coordination Office.
US government sensors have been monitoring fireballs - or "exceptionally bright meteors," as NASA explains - since 1988. The chart below from the research centre maps the location and impact energy of the brightest fireballs reported.
People in parts of Victoria and South Australia reported seeing large flashes of bright white light at around 10:30 pm local time on Tuesday.
The center confirmed that the bright light was actually an impressive fireball with a calculated impact energy of 1.6 kilotons of explosive power. It traveled at a velocity of 11.5 kilometers per second (7 miles per second) and ultimately landed in the Great Australian Bight just off South Australia's coast.
NASA engineer Dr Steve Chesley told ABC Radio that the meteor could have been the size of a small car when it hit the atmosphere, and it was actually travelling at a slower speed than most asteroids.
Check out video captured by the South Australia Police Department which shows the exact moment the meteor lit up the night sky:
Our CCTV in Mount Gambier captured this otherworldly fireball at 10.46pm Tuesday. Just in case, weâ€™d ask that Limestone Coast locals be alert for Alien Life Forms (including ALF himself) trying to hitch-hike to Earth Capital, and approach with caution. #meteor #weneedanALFemoji pic.twitter.com/iOgAOlw4cu— South Australia Police (@SAPoliceNews) May 22, 2019
Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- You can now transfer your Vitality rewards to Multiply - here's how else Momentum wants to attract clients
- Watch: Elon Musk's company has just launched 60 satellites that can provide most of the Earth with high-speed internet access
- Sasol's shock slump has wiped out billions - but it's not even among the 10 biggest one-day falls on the JSE
- Botswana is re-legalising hunting elephants because it says they're causing chaos by killing livestock and fighting with people
- ‘Sad rather than worrying.’ Here’s why Netcare’s CEO had to dump R200 million in shares
- This is why Walmart is sending an American heavy hitter to fix Makro and Game