# Thread: How large is a visible meteor?

1. ## How large is a visible meteor?

As big as a pinhead? A pea? A golfball?
How big do they have to get till you just notice them?

2. I've heard that the size of a grain of sand produces the quick flashes/streaks.

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I think I've read about the size of a mustard seed. So maybe 1-2mm? Wikipedia says about the size of a grain of sand, so <1mm. So small indeed.

I'm guessing the quick flashes are smaller ones, and the ones that streak across the sky are a bit bigger? My favorite are the ones that leave a sparkly trail.

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Meteoroid would have to be about the size of a marble for a portion of it to reach the Earth's surface. Smaller particles burn up in the atmosphere about 50 to 75 miles above the Earth.

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Originally Posted by Tom Mazanec
As big as a pinhead? A pea? A golfball?
How big do they have to get till you just notice them?
A meteor does not have to be large in order to see it in size can range from a small stone to a grain of sand.

6. As a physics question, assume that the object is travelling 10 to 30 miles per second relative to the atmosphere, and that 10% to 50% of the kinetic energy it loses gets converted to visible light over the time of 1 to 5 seconds.
If it is 50 to 150 miles away from the observer, how much mass does it need to be visible?

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