Meteors Can Reach Speeds Close to That of Light When They Enter in the Earth’s Atmosphere

Some space rocks will enter the atmosphere of our planet from time to time. Most tend to burnout due to the friction forces, while those who are more resilient can reach the surface. Amazing spectacles are offered by meteor showers when the orbit of our planets passes through zones that are filled with debris from the formation of other space objects.

A team of researchers has conducted a new study that argues that the atmosphere of our planet is impacted continuously by large meteors with a size between 1 millimeter to 10 centimeters (or 0.004 to 4 inches), which travel at a surprising speed. These meteors may have been released by close supernovae events, which forced the particles to accelerate to speeds that are thousands of times faster than that of sound.

The study sought to collect more information about the way in which ejected material created by a supernova can reach speeds close to that of light and travel through the interstellar medium to reach the atmosphere of our planet.

Meteors Can Reach Speeds Close to That of Light When They Enter in the Earth’s Atmosphere

Previous research has theorized the existence of meteorites with a relatively modest size, but several voices criticized some aspects. For example, it was not clear if they could manage to travel through interstellar space without being destroyed.

Empirical data infer that at least one supernova has managed to release debris that has reached Earth in the past. It is well-known that the violent phenomena can lead to the release of a generous amount of dust that can travel at superior speeds. While the amount of mass found in small clumps remains a mystery objects which are larger than 1 millimeter or 0.04 inch have a chance to reach the atmosphere of Earth in the form of a sub-relativistic meteor.

The signals emitted by these meteors would highlight them in comparison to slower rocks. More data can be found in the study, which was published in a scientific journal.

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