Several meteor cameras recorded racing projectiles from the solar system, as explained Friday by Stuttgart constellation astronomer Hans-Ulrich Keller.
Twitter and Instagram users reported a lightning-fast object with a glowing tail in Tübingen, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe and Bad Kreuznach on Thursday evening. According to Keller, it flew across Central Europe. Andreas Eberle of the Stuttgart Observatory also told SWR that there was much to suggest that it was a cosmic object.
Keller argued that it cannot be space junk, because it always flies with the rotation of the Earth, but the projectile goes in the opposite direction. It was probably the size of a fist of a soccer ball. A ball-shaped celestial object made entirely of iron can weigh 100 kg.
It is said that when this meteorite entered the Earth’s atmosphere and when it ignited, its height was between 100 and 120 kilometers. Because his kinetic energy is converted into thermal energy, several thousand degrees of warm air travels with him throughout his career. The explosion took place at an altitude of 20 to 40 kilometers from the Earth, the astronomer further explained. “Such events are more frequent, but the present case is spectacular because it was a particularly bright object that was not obscured by clouds.”
Keller was a reminder of the geological disasters caused by projectiles from space. About 15 million years ago, for example, a minor planet formed a giant crater when it fell to Earth, today’s Nördlinger Reese in Bavaria. 65 million years ago, a minor planet hit the Gulf of Mexico and wiped out 95 percent of all living things around the world.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211008-99-529838/5
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