A big meteor just passed by Earth, smashed parts into Oslo, Norway; know what is this space object
A meteor created a fireworks display in Oslo, Norway region that had people scrambling out their beds in panic.
Meteor parts crashed just outside of Oslo, Norway and left people stunned and fearful about what was going on. People woke up in panic as the meteor shot through the sky with a lot of sound and generated a light show too. Some meteor parts struck the Earth too, about 15 kilometres from Norway's capital city of Oslo. Shocked residents who scrambled in fear from their beds, took videos of the event and shared them with their loved ones on their WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. There is no knowledge yet if anyone was hurt or what damage was caused. No such reports have come in. So, what is a meteor?
Well, a meteor is a piece of rock and nothing more. They are created when a comet ejects these small particles as they move about their massive orbits. They are also called shooting stars as that is what they resemble when they pass over Earth. When these rocks pass through Earth's atmosphere and burn up fully there, they are called meteors. These can be seen as fireballs in the sky. Meteroids are the rocks shooting through space. They can be referred to as space rocks, says Nasa. However, when meteor goes on to hit the Earth, then that object is called a meteorite.
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Humans do not have to worry too much about meteors as they are usually the size of small dust particles or even a boulder at most. But when they pass through Earth's atmosphere they create something called a meteor shower and that can be quite spectacular. Nasa says, "Radar indicates there are 12,000 meteors on a given night that are about the size of a piece of dust."
This meteor that hit Norway was unusually large and that is why it created the huge noise and light. The pieces that got burned up in the atmosphere were responsible for that. Whether any fragment survived the trip through the atmosphere is not known yet as nothing has been found so far.
So, even as it spread fear in residents near Oslo, there is little to fear from meteors, but it is the larger asteroids and comets that can truly wreak havoc, if they crash into Earth. The latest asteroid that is headed Earth's way is called 2008 GO20. It is thrice the size of the Taj Mahal and has been labelled as near-Earth object. That means it will pass close to the Earth. It is travelling at a speed of 8.2 km per second. The closest point to Earth in its flight will be reached on Sunday. It will be as far away as 3-4 million kilometres from our planet - that is not very far from Earth in terms of planetary distances.