A meteor is the fireball that occurs when a space rock (called a meteoroid) burns during its entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. For this reason, every space rock that falls naturally to Earth inevitably becomes a meteor, be it of greater or lesser intensity. This concept serves as a starting point for the following list.
But it happens that sometimes an alien rock falls to Earth, becomes a meteor, and then, for some reason, decides to leave our atmosphere to continue its journey through space. Below, we will see ten examples of meteors that exhibited this behavior, some of which even became awe-inspiring spectacles.
1 Japan Earth-Grazer
As stated in the introduction, meteors generally occur when space rocks burn and disintegrate upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere. But on some occasions, such meteoroids fall to Earth in a trajectory almost parallel to its surface and “bounce” in the upper atmosphere. So after becoming bright meteors for a moment, these rocks just keep going and return to outer space. We call these meteors “Earth-grazers.”
An Earth-grazer event occurred in Japan on March 29, 2006. A bright fireball crossed the sky over several Japanese cities, allowing several stations to accurately measure its trajectory and characteristics. The cause of the fireball was a meteoroid of approximately 100 kilograms (220 lb) that entered the atmosphere at a height of 87 kilometers (54 mi). From there, the meteor traveled about 1,000 kilometers (621 mi) over Japan, lasting 35 seconds before leaving Earth.
This was the third Earth-grazing meteor scientifically observed and measured accurately. Photographs, recordings by TV cameras, telescopic observations, and a special software were used to determine its characteristics. Even with all this equipment available, there are very few documented cases of Earth-grazers around the world, although most of the items on this list fit the category.