Meteors entering our planet’s atmosphere represent a pretty common scenario, but few of them manage to be bright enough to illuminate the entire sky over pedestrians. When such a massive fireball comes, the event could stay with us for a whole lifetime.
On Saturday, January 29, residents of Karachi, a city in Pakistan, were lucky enough to see such a sparkling fireball as it ignited the night sky above their heads. Some of them even had time to catch the event on camera, which is amazing considering that fireballs entering our atmosphere this way only last for several seconds.
— Weather Of Karachi- WOK (@KarachiWok) January 30, 2022
If that caught your attention a lot, it’s time to see another footage that looks even more compelling:
— asadMmanc (@asadMManc) January 30, 2022
Luckily for all of us, most space rocks that enter the Earth’s atmosphere don’t make it to the surface intact. They get severely disintegrated due to air friction and gravitational acceleration. In this way, they can’t possibly pose a threat to Earth anymore.
However, if the space rock is too large, there are plenty of chances that it can cause a major impact on Earth. But such events are very rare in our planet’s history. The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs over 60 million years ago, for instance, was way too large to have been disintegrated in our planet’s atmosphere. Also known as the Chicxulub impactor, that space rock measured about 12 kilometers in diameter. The collision led not only to a massive explosion. The sunlight was also blocked by a huge blanket of dust and ashes for hundreds of years. Without sunlight, plants couldn’t make oxygen anymore for the dinosaurs to breathe, resulting in a massive extinction.
Hopefully, the world nowadays is very far away from an asteroid big as Chicxulub visiting us. NASA closely monitors the sky for potential threats, and it has done a pretty good job until now.