Claim: A viral Instagram video from a profile called “” claims to show meteors hitting the Earth in real-time. 

Fact: The video uses computer-generated graphics and it is evident that this could not be real because the video shows meteors firing up with a trail of smoke a long time before they even reach Earth’s orbit, which NASA staes is not possible.

On 11 December 2023, an Instagram page called Nova shared a video (archive) with the caption “Meteor Hitting Earth #meteor#earth#spaceexploration #starryadventures

#galacticjourney #cosmicwonders #astronomyvoyage #spacemagic #explorethecosmos #beyondearth #StellarViews #nasa #galaxies #usa #universe #astrophysics #spacevideos”. The post does not state that the video is generated AI or CGI. 

Fact or Fiction?

That this video is computer-generated is evident in the way the smoke trail follows five brightly lit balls of light. This is not possible in space because in a vacuum there is an absence of any oxidiser which may ignite the meteor rock and result in creating a smoke trail. 

NASA Science Space Place is an educational website curated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the US. According to their explanation of the mesosphere, it is this layer of the Earth’s atmosphere when the meteor starts to burn. “Those meteors are burning up in the mesosphere. The meteors make it through the exosphere and thermosphere without much trouble because those layers don’t have much air. But when they hit the mesosphere, there are enough gasses to cause friction and create heat.” 

The video in question very clearly shows that the meteors have been burning from a distance before entering the Earth’s mesophere at all, which is impossible. 


The video on Instagram received more than 80,800 interactions on Instagram and was viewed 1.6 million times.

Conclusion:  A video showing meteors approaching the Earth uses computer-generated graphics, and does not show a real-life instance of a meteor shower hitting the Earth’s surface.


Background image in cover photo: StarWalk

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