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Meteorite Illuminates Costa Rican Sky

Costa Ricans witnessed a unique spectacle as a meteorite was seen at approximately 8:23 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, from different areas of the country. The phenomenon was identified as a meteor, as confirmed by Erick Sánchez, an expert at the planetarium of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) in San José.

The entrance of the bolide was captured by several surveillance cameras, and some people who were recording other events also managed to capture the exact moment it flashed across the sky.

According to Sánchez, the color the meteor took when it entered the Earth’s atmosphere was a green-blue tone due to its magnesium content.

“Generally, they are chemical elements that burn, and each one generates a flame of a different color when consumed. In this case, most of them look blue-greenish because they contain magnesium. In some cases, they look yellowish due to sodium,” said Sánchez.

“Those are the two main elements they have. Some will have a little bit of red and other colors, but in their great majority, they are greenish-blue, possibly because they have a large quantity of magnesium,” he added.

According to records from the Planetarium, the phenomenon was mainly seen in the northwest of the country, in the area of Upala. There is also a report from a camera located in Naranjo, and it was possibly visible from Cañas, Liberia, and San Carlos.

“These phenomena, due to their height, usually can be observed from a long distance. In addition, they travel at high speed, hundreds of thousands of kilometers per hour, faster than the International Space Station (ISS). Even though it is the size of a marble, because it is going at such a high speed, it can release enough energy to be seen as a luminous flash,” the UCR expert mentioned.

The extraordinary event left many Costa Ricans in awe, providing a beautiful and moment for those fortunate enough to witness it. The UCR planetarium continues to monitor and record such celestial events, contributing to our understanding of meteor activity and its visual effects.

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