Meteors shower in New Zealand are bright green. Here’s why?

As a matter of fact, the Perseid meteor shower — which has already begun and will peak on August 13 — is a prime example of a green meter. Bits of the comet Swift-Tuttle that remain in space from its journey almost a century ago, enter the Earth’s atmosphere at speed of 37 miles (62 km) an hour and leave a similar green trail.

However, Baggaley goes on to state that this green is different from the aurora green. When asteroids containing nickel and iron hit the Earth’s atmosphere, the rapidly released enormous amounts of heat end up vaporizing these metals which then radiate green light.

The meteor that hit Canterbury on July 22 actually turned a pale yellow over the night sky after winds from the upper atmosphere twisted its glowing tail. This was the effect of sodium atoms being excited in the presence of ozone.

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