Why asteroids burn up while entering the atmosphere?


     Asteroids are rock-solid objects that randomly moves here and there in space. The size of these asteroids varies from a tennis ball to a small planet. Most of the asteroids in our solar system revolve around the sun in an elliptical path between Mars and Jupiter. Approximately more than 50,000 asteroids move in there with varies in mass.


***still, there's time: ISRO Cyberspace Competition 2021 ***


why asteroids burn up while entering atmosphere?
credits: pixabay


There are more types of celestial objects around the solar system:


  • Asteroids

  • Meteoroids

  • Meteorites

  • Comet

  • Planets

  • Dwarf Planets

  • Natural Satellites


why asteroids burn up while entering atmosphere?
credits: pixabay



Why do they burn?


     When asteroids enter the Earth's atmosphere. This atmosphere consists of a large amount of air. Asteroids move into this atmosphere with the velocity of thousands of km per hour. When it hits the atmosphere, the air in front of it compresses rapidly. That increase the temperature to rise to very hot. From this, these asteroids burns.


     Most of the asteroids completely burnt themselves by the atmosphere friction and the velocity of the asteroid. But, a few of them still remain some mass and bang into the earth surface. When a small piece of asteroid hits the earth surface, we call it a meteoroid.


Why not skydivers?


why asteroids burn up while entering atmosphere?
credits: pixabay


     Skydivers jump to the Earth inside the atmosphere. Also, they jump at zero velocity(free-falling object). Because of the minimum speed, they cannot burn. For example, a 100 kg person jumps from 4000 meters, then he needs to spend 1000 kcal/kg. Which is equivalent to burn 100kg of water with a 10 degree Celcius. So, this amount of energy not enough to burn the skydiver.

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