The internet was flooded with pictures of a green fireball running through the Earth’s atmosphere on Tuesday morning. This happened early in the morning when people were going to school and work and this is why the green fireball was trending on social media. The fireball is classified as an “Earth Gazer” and according to NASA, the Earth Gazer is a small meteor that enters the planet’s atmosphere.
It’s Raining Fireballs!
What’s interesting about these fireballs is that they happen more often that you’d think. Bill Cooke is the leader of NASA’s meteoroid environment office and he said that the only difference between Tuesday’s meteorite and all the others is that this one entered the atmosphere at a shallow angle which made it look spectacular.
“They kind of skim along the top of the atmosphere. Some hit at such a shallow angle they literally bounce off the atmosphere,” added Bill Cooke.
The Meteor’s Pieces Didn’t Hit the Earth
Since the Earth Gazer traveled for such a long time through the atmosphere, it burned and there weren’t any pieces that fell on Earth. “A lot of fireballs are reported with a greenish color and that greenish color comes from oxygen,” said Bill Cooke in response to the meteor’s strange color.
“It’s dumping energy in the air and that excited the oxygen molecules and when oxygen gets excited it gives off a green color. That’s not due to the meteor, that’s due to the oxygen in our atmosphere being excited by the passage of the meteor,” stated the NASA leader.
The Earth Gazer made the skyline look amazing Tuesday morning and everyone who was getting ready to leave for school or work had a great start to their morning. Nonetheless, the last thing that we want to mention about the Earth Gazer is that it traveled through the atmosphere at 31,000 miles per hour.