It isn’t every day that we see meteors in headlines, but on Friday, a rock from the sky, and the island nation of Cyprus, got the attention of the press.
A suspected meteor did a close fly-by over the Mediterranean nation according to a Reuters report on September 9th. Residents in the mountainous Troodos range reported green-white glows in the sky at around 1 A.M., followed by large blasts. Some also reported that the ground shook after the appearance of the space rock.
Ioannis Fakas, the honorary chairman of Cyprus’ astronomical society, has told a local television station that the meteor had a 45 degree tilt before a ‘bang’ was heard, as the object passed over the island. Fakas added that parts of the meteorite were thought to have landed into the sea north of Cyprus.
Meteorites are dangerous
Meteorites are meteors that survive the passage through our planet’s thick atmosphere and hit the ground. Those that vaporize in the air are called meteors.
One of the most known meteor strikes in recent history is the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor which left thousands injured. Scientists who investigated the event said the space rock exploded in the air, or also called ‘air burst.’ After the explosion, a sonic boom followed, destroying many properties.
After the incident, the United States Congress then asked NASA about its program for protection from such strikes. As reported by NBC, the American space agency told lawmakers that they need more money to protect the planet from asteroids and other rocks from outer space.
According to NASA, every two-thousand years or so, a meteoroid the size of a football field hit the Earth and causes significant damage to an area. For the rocks that could threaten the human civilization, the space agency said it could hit only once in every few million years. The craters on Earth and on the moon and other bodies in space are evidence of the past impacts.
Featured image shows the Geminid meteor shower in 2015.