Meteors (aka meteoroids) are small metallic or rocky bodies floating around in space. When one of these small bodies makes its way through the Earth’s atmosphere and hits the ground, it’s called a meteorite. The Earth still bears the scars left by meteorites and, even though I called them “small,” some can be large enough to wreak havoc on our World (just ask the dinosaurs). Many people have managed to capture the amazing display put on by these space chunks as they soar across the sky. Below are 5 of the most incredible:
1. Urals Meteorite
On February 15, 2013, a meteorite lit up the sky near the Urals Mountain Range in Russia. The explosion as it hit the ground resulted in injuries to 1500 people, as well as, some property damage from the shock waves. Even though the meteorite appeared completely without warning, some people kept their wits about themselves long enough to take the amazing videos below:
2. Perseids Meteor Shower
There is nothing quite so thrilling as lying in the grass, gazing up into the night sky, and watching hundreds of meteors whisk by. If you catch it at its peak, the Perseids Meteor Shower provides you with just such a thrill. The meteor shower display is the result of the comet, Swift-Tuttle, passing by the Earth. Its name comes from the fact that the majority of the meteors are seen near the constellation, Perseus. The following time-lapse video of the Perseids Meteor Shower was shot in 2013 by Jeff Sullivan.
3. Texas Meteorite
On November 8, 2014, a large meteorite hit the ground in Central Texas. The meteorite was 4 feet across and weighed around 4,000 pounds! To give you an idea of what the impact of this meteorite was like, an online calculator provided by the University of Arizona shows the impact was 3.8 megatons; 3 times that of the atomic bomb dropped at Hiroshima! There were other meteorite sightings around the world this same night, including one in Japan that gave off an odd, green glow. Below is video footage of the Texas meteorite:
4. Midwestern fireball
In April, 2010, an incredibly bright meteorite zoomed across the Midwestern United States. It was reported to be seen in Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, and Illinois. It’s course through the sky lasted an astonishing 15 minutes and created a sonic boom that shook houses and trees across the region. Just look at how bright it was!
5. Geminid Meteor Shower
Like the Perseids Meteor Shower, the Geminid Meteor Shower blesses the world with a yearly display. Unlike the Perseids, however, the Geminid Meteor Shower isn’t a result of a passing comet. Rather it’s caused by the space object 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be a Palladian Asteroid. No matter its origins, it’s still spectacular as you can see from this time-lapse video shot over Big Sur, CA in 2012 by Kenneth Brandon.