Can meteorites move at a speed close to the speed of light?

I think for anybody today not a secret that our planet – from the very moment of its birth, some 4.5 billion years ago – is constantly exposed to a real bombing… meteorites. Of course, today the situation is fundamentally different from the one that was billions of years ago, but the meteors are still falling on our planet. So, every day the Earth gets about 100 000 kg of extraterrestrial matter in the form of dust grains, the size 99% of which varies in the region of 0.5 mm. However, only a few meteorites reach the Earth’s surface. But what speed flying meteorites, and and then the speed of light? In this article you will learn what space objects fly faster than others and here supernova.

Meteors — fragments of space objects, a particle size of several centimeters, which enter the atmosphere at speeds of tens of kilometres per second and burn up, creating bright sapsco — a falling star.

Meteorites are fragments of comets and asteroids that enter the atmosphere and burn in the blink of an eye.

As meteorites fall?

To understand all the intricacies of life on our planet in the vastness of the cosmic ocean, let’s remember what are meteors and asteroids and how they generally fall to the Ground. It is important to understand that in space, among stars and planets, there is a countless number of celestial objects.

So, the asteroid is a cosmic body, like a planet, but not so large that does not prevent some of them to acquire their own orbit and moons. There is still space dust is tiny particles of matter that are dispersed in space. And the intermediate objects of medium size – their size usually varies from 0.1 mm to 10-30 mm is the meteorites. However, scientists know about the existence of a huge meteorite, the size of which reaches a length of two and a half meters and more.

They can be dispersed in space, can move along arbitrary trajectories, and their orbits can be relatively stable. Sometimes there is a whole cluster of meteorites – the so-called Roy. Even more fascinating articles about which objects travel in the vast infinite Universe, read up on our channel in Yandex.Zen! There are regularly published posts which are not on the website!

But the speed with which these cosmic Wanderers move across the expanses of the infinite Universe and what happens when they fall on our planet? The fastest meteoroids move at a speed of 42 kilometers per second (km/s). However, the speed of meteors that manage to penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere and reach the surface of the planet is much lower, about 12 km/s. However, theoretically – according to scientists – there may be a number of not-yet-discovered objects whose velocity is much, much higher.

The fastest meteorites

When a space body flying towards our planet, its main task (call it so) – to enter the Earth’s atmosphere and not disintegrate. As I said, only a few bodies, mostly larger, reach the Earth’s surface.

The largest known meteorite, which successfully landed on our space house, has a length of 2.7 meters and a width of 2.4 meters. Its mass is supposedly is about 59 tons. The object was found in Hobe West in Namibia.

And yet, a lot more meteorites bombardment that subjected Land – so small that remain unnoticed. Writes Muy Interesante, according to a new study by Harvard astronomers Amir Siraj and Professor Abraham Loeb, the atmosphere of Earth is bombarded with space rocks ranging in size from 1 mm to 10 cm, which move at extremely high speeds. These objects, according to the researchers, could have come from the explosion of supernovae, which cause the particles to be accelerated up to subrelativistic or even relativistic speeds several thousand times the speed of sound and reaching to the fraction of the speed of light.

Relativistic speed – a speed close to the speed of light.

I note that the work has not yet passed peer review and been published to date on the server preprints Airvix. It is noteworthy that the work is dedicated to one of the main mysteries in astrophysics, which is whether the emissions created by a supernova, can be accelerated to relativistic speeds and pass through the interstellar medium to reach the Earth’s atmosphere.

Meteorites are usually moving at a speed of about 0.01% of the speed of light, so the current search aims to search for signals from objects moving with such speed. Meteorites from the supernova will move hundreds of times faster (about 1% of the speed of light), but because their signals will be significantly different from the usual meteorites. That's why scientists could simply ignore these objects.

As told by the authors of the study edition of the Universe Today, despite the presence of strong theoretical foundations, the question of whether meteorites larger than a speck of dust in the Earth’s atmosphere at subrelativistic or relativistic speeds remains open. So just to confirm that these are very fast meteors real need tools that don’t yet exist and which, among other things, should include microphones for recording infrasound, and infrared devices for measuring temperature. According to calculations, to the theoretically available meteorites will require a global network of approximately 600 detectors.