Meteorite Lights Up Sky Over Brazil

By Reuters

A meteorite that flashed brightly across the sky was caught on camera in the early hours of Friday morning, April 12.

A camera installed by Carlos Fernando Jung, the scientific director at the Brazilian Meteor Observation Network caught the celestial body as it entered the atmosphere and burned up in the sky.

According to local media, the meteorite likely burned up some 36 kilometers (22 miles) over the Atlantic Ocean.

Meteorite in Brazil 1
Meteorite streaking across the sky over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil in Taquara, Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil, on April 12, 2019. (Screenshot from video via Reuters)

The Life of a Meteorite

Beginning their existence as space debris, typically from the remnants of exploded asteroids, most meteorites found on Earth originate from the Asteroid Belt, located between Mars and Jupiter. They may be comets or meteoroids made of rock or iron from outer space. Upon surviving the fall through the atmosphere and impacting the surface, they become meteorites.

Around five to 10 meteorites are recovered by scientists per year. Most disintegrate while entering the atmosphere and create a small pit upon impact. Very few are large enough to cause an impact crater. Those that are large enough are called bolides, which are categorized as the brightest meteorites. The largest intact meteorite ever found is the Bola meteorite in Nambia, which is 2.7 meters (about 9 feet) long and weighs a colossal 66 tons.

Bolides are extremely bright meteorites that often explode while in midair. (Public domain)
Pit caused when the 61.9-gram (approx. 2-ounce) Novato meteorite struck a roof in Northern Calif., in October 2012. (Public domain)
The 50,000-year-old Barringer meteorite crater in Arizona measures 0.737 miles in diameter. (Public domain)

Epoch Times reporter Cat Bolton contributed to this report.