posted on Dec, 18 2010 @ 11:37 AM
nakiannunaki - I agree with the other poster that you probably saw a late Geminid meteor. We saw quite a few Geminids with a greeny-blue tinge to them
early on Tuesday morning when the Geminids were peaking.
To answer your questions - yes green is a very common color in meteors, and blue is slightly less so. Nothing to do with copper though (I wish people
wold search before making erroneous assumptions!). The color comes from ionized oxygen molecules as they collide with the meteoroid, causing them to
emit light at very specific wavelengths (green in this case). Between the ionized atmospheric gasses and ionized particles of the meteoroid, almost
any color can be observed in meteors.
3AM would be an ideal time to see them due the radiant being high in the sky, and because Earth turns round to face the incoming meteoroids after
midnight, which means they don't have to catch up with Earth as they did before midnight.
You might also like to know that in a little over two weeks time we have the peak of the Quadrantid meteor shower. The Geminids and Quadrantids are
the most consistently active meteor showers of the year, so if you want to see more, you have another chance in a couple of weeks time. It will also
be the last chance to see a meteor shower when the moon is not interfering (moonlight or any light pollution cuts down the number of meteors that you
can see), so you might want to make the most of this moon free shower, as it will be a while before there will be another moon free shower. Keep an
eye on the Space Exploration forum for a thread on the subject in the next few days.
PS. It's only a meteorite if it makes it down to the ground. Meteor is the correct term for the luminous phenomena that we see as a
meteoroid (as a small particle or "space rock" is known when it is in space) enters our atmosphere.