Tag: airplane

Peruvian "meteor" freaks out media

By Phil Plait | September 1, 2011 7:00 am

A few days ago, the web was abuzz with something that looked like a very large meteor burning up over Peru. Here’s video from ITN news:

You can find similar videos on Youtube. However, is it actually a meteor?

Cutting to the chase, I don’t think so. I don’t have a lot of solid evidence either way, but all signs point that way. Here are my thoughts:

1) Meteors tend to move more quickly. They usually burn up around 100 km (60 miles) up, roughly, and are moving at a minimum of 11 km/sec (7 miles/sec) — Earth’s gravity pulls them in to at least this speed. If you’ve ever seen a meteor you know they zip across the sky in at most a few seconds.

2) The two trains (the technical term for what most people would call the tail or trail) are very odd — you can see them in the frame grab here. I’ve never seen a meteoroid (the actual solid bit moving through our atmosphere) produce more than one train. I don’t think this is an optical effect due to the camera but actually two distinct trains.

Read More

MORE ABOUT: airplane, fireball, meteor, Peru
NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »