Almost 10,000 meteorites hit Earth every year | Tech News

Almost 10,000 meteorites hit Earth every year

How many meteorites hit Earth every year? Fewer than 10,000, but is it dangerous for living organisms? Find it out here.

| Updated on: Aug 28 2022, 19:45 IST
NASA reveals stunning Jupiter images captured by James Webb Space Telescope
1/6 Amazingly, currently, on Jupiter, there are auroras, storms, extreme temperatures and powerful winds stirring things up, according to NASA. The images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope could give scientists a look at the conditions of the gas giant. (NASA)
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2/6 Planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emerita of the University of California, Berkeley said, “We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest. It’s really remarkable that we can see details on Jupiter together with its rings, tiny satellites, and even galaxies in one image.” (NASA)
3/6 The images were captured by the telescope's Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument on July 27, which highlighted the planet's unique features. According to NASA, the NIRCam has three specialized infrared filters that showcase details of the planet. (AFP)
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4/6 The image was created by compositing several images. Auroras are visible near the Northern and Southern poles of the planet. According to NASA, the auroras shine in a filter that is mapped to redder colors, which also highlights light reflected from lower clouds and upper hazes. (NASA)
5/6 The Great Red Spot as well as other clouds can be visible in the images as white since it is reflecting the sunlight. The Great Red Spot is a giant vortex which has been swirling around on Jupiter’s surface for a long time. Jupiter’s 2 moons, Amalthea and Adrastea can also be seen “photo-bombing” the planet. (REUTERS)
6/6 Thierry Fouchet, a professor at the Paris Observatory, as part of an international collaboration for Webb’s Early Release Science program said, “This one image sums up the science of our Jupiter system program, which studies the dynamics and chemistry of Jupiter itself, its rings, and its satellite system.” (NASA/AFP)
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Here is all you need to know about meteorites hitting Earth. (Pixabay)

Have you seen a shooting star? Well these are not exactly stars but are burning rocks from space that enter the Earth's atmosphere. According to the information provided by the American Meteor Society (AMS), Meteoroids are the smallest members of the solar system and whenever a meteoroid plows into the Earth's atmosphere, it will create a brief flash of moving light in the sky, called a meteor (which appears to be a shooting stars). If remnants of the parent meteoroid survive the trip through the atmosphere to reach the ground, then these remnants are called meteorites.

But how many meteorites hit the Earth surface every year? It is very rare that a giant object from space hits the Earth's surface. Generally, most rocks that fall to Earth are very small, and relatively few survive their fiery entry through Earth's atmosphere. Hence, causing no threat or harm for other living organisms.

According to a report by livescience, "Scientists estimate that fewer than 10,000 meteorites collide into Earth's land or water, which is a drop in the bucket compared with the moon, which doesn't have an atmosphere and gets hit by varying sizes of space rocks: about 11 to 1,100 tons (10 to 1,000 metric tons) — the mass of about 5.5 cars — of space rock dust per day, and about 33,000 pingpong-ball-sized space rock collisions yearly."

Most of Earth's detected meteors "come from the meteor showers associated with the dust released by comets," said Gonzalo Tancredi, an astronomer at the University of the Republic in Montevideo, Uruguay, as quoted by livescience.

"To estimate how many meteorites successfully hit Earth each year, Tancredi analyzed data from the Meteoritical Society. From 2007 to to 2018, there were 95 reports of meteorites falling to Earth, averaging a rate of about 7.9 reports per year," the report added.

The report further said that it is impossible to know for sure how many meteorites fall into the ocean and sink to the bottom undetected.

"Tancredi noted that space rocks measuring about 33 feet (10 m) wide are expected to enter Earth's atmosphere every six to 10 years. A rock big enough to generate an explosion like that of the 1908 Tunguska event in Russia happens about every 500 years, he added. A major cosmic impact from a rock about 3,280 feet (1 km) wide is estimated to happen every 300,000 to 500,000 years, whereas a collision like the one that ended the Cretaceous period and obliterated the dinosaurs might take place once in 100 million to 200 million years," according to the report.

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First Published Date: 28 Aug, 19:45 IST