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Meteor Caught On Camera Exploding Over Ocean Near Tasmania

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Meteor Caught On Camera Exploding Over Ocean Near Tasmania

A research vessel's livestream camera managed to capture the moment a meteor shot across the sky in Australia, with crew members saying the sight of the fireball was 'incredible'.

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The meteor blazed a trail across the sky above waters off the southern coast of Tasmania, where it was spotted by Australia's national science agency CSIRO at 9.21pm local time on 18 November.

Crew from CSIRO's Investigator research vessel were amazed to find out that the on-board camera had managed to record the impressive display, showing the bright green meteor zoom through the sky and break up over the ocean.

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CSIRO Voyage Manager John Hooper said it was a stroke of luck to capture the 'amazing' footage.

"What we saw on reviewing the livestream footage astounded us, the size and brightness of the meteor was incredible," Hooper said in a statement.

CSIRO's Investigator research vessel. Credit: CSIRO
CSIRO's Investigator research vessel. Credit: CSIRO

"The meteor crosses the sky directly in front of the ship and then breaks up - it was amazing to watch the footage and we were very fortunate that we captured it all on the ship livestream."

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Glen Nagle from CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science agreed that crew had been lucky to capture the moment with video, saying: "Cameras are everywhere, in our pockets and around our cities, but they have to be pointed in the right place at the right time - RV Investigator was in that place and time."

According to CNET, the International Meteor Organisation - which tracks meteors - doesn't have any reports of the fireball over the ocean.

The fireball broke up over the ocean. Credit: CSIRO
The fireball broke up over the ocean. Credit: CSIRO

Local Hobart media reported various sightings, but with no other photos or video footage of the meteor in action, it would appear that the CSIRO crew may have been the only ones to catch it on camera.

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Nagle continued: "Over 100 tonnes of natural space debris enters Earth's atmosphere every day.

"Most of it goes unseen as it occurs over an unpopulated area like the southern ocean.

"When a meteor enters the Earth's atmosphere at high-speed, it is the friction of rock with the atmosphere that makes them burn, as their kinetic energy is converted to other forms like heat, light and sound.

"Many meteors were once asteroids, travelling through space on their own trajectory.

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"This changes as they pass close to Earth, where they can be affected by its gravitational pull.

"As they enter our atmosphere, they become meteors - and their entry can be visually spectacular."

Featured Image Credit: CSIRO

Topics: Science, World News, News, Australia, Meteor

Jess Hardiman
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