A space rock was spotted “gliding” through the Earth’s atmosphere in its trajectory through the cosmos. The meteoroid was spotted on September 22 between northern Germany and the Netherlands, reaching 91 km in altitude before “bouncing” back into space.
Space rock skims Earth’s atmosphere, observed by the #globalmeteornetwork☄️
In the early hours of 22 Sept over N. Germany & the Netherlands, a meteoroid got down to 91 km in altitude – far below orbiting satellites – before it ‘bounced’ back into space
— ESA Operations (@esaoperations) September 24, 2020
The images were taken by the cameras of the Global Meteor Network, a project that aims to provide the public with real-time alerts of meteors and asteroids that pass through Earth. “The network is basically a decentralized scientific instrument, formed by amateur astronomers and citizen scientists from all over the planet, each with their own camera systems”, explains Denis Vida, founder of the initiative.
The researcher tracked the rock to an orbit close to Jpiter, but it has not yet been identified. A meteoroid “a fragment of a comet or asteroid that becomes a meteor – a bright light that passes through the sky – when it enters the atmosphere. Most of them disintegrate, possibly with pieces hitting the ground like meteorites”, explains the European Space Agency .
But that was not the case. Every day, hundreds of tons of small interplanetary objects enter Earth, but few reach the ground – let alone “bounce” in the atmosphere. For this, the rock needs to enter the atmosphere at a very shallow angle. The effect is the same as the stones that “jump” into the water if thrown at the right angle and speed.
A recent study attributes to meteoroids like this the possibility of microorganisms traveling between planets. Based on the known rate of meteoroid impacts on our planet, researchers Amir Siraj and Avi Loeb, from Harvard University (USA) suggest that terrestrial microbes that lived in the atmosphere may have hitched a ride on an asteroid to a neighboring planet, like Viruses (who recently became a candidate for housing).
“At least 600,000 asteroids passed into the Earth’s atmosphere without being significantly heated and subsequently impacted Viruses, and a similar number passed into the Atmosphere of Viruses and later impacted the Earth – both within a period of approximately 100,000 years – during which the microbes could survive in space “, explain the researchers.
Astronomy Asteroid meteor THAT Science & Space meteorite