Feeds

Shooting stars suspected of climate meddling

Have you seen this asteroid?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Meteors might play a bigger role in regulation of our climate than previously thought.

The latest observations of an asteroid disintegrating as it entered the atmosphere suggest that the resulting cloud is composed of larger pieces of material than expected. The asteroid released as much energy as a nuclear bomb on its way through the atmosphere, according to Scientific American.

Scientists, led by Andrew Klekociuk of the Australian Antarctic Division, studied the progress of the million-kilogram shooting star in unprecedented detail, using visible light and infra-red observation equipment on orbiting satellites.

Klekociuk and his colleagues found fragments of asteroid as large as 20 micrometres across in the resulting dust cloud, big enough to have an impact on the climate.

Particles between 0.05 micrometres and one micrometre scatter light and radiation, aiding atmospheric reactions. Since the dust from chunks of rock from space, which stays in the atmosphere for weeks, and sometimes months, meteors could play a significant part in both Ozone depletion, and in altering the global energy balance, the researchers say.

More work is needed to determine whether these results are typical. The findings are published in Nature. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.