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Meteorites

  • Fireball Explodes Above Norway, Meteorite Impact Recorded

    A bright fireball exploded over Norway at 23:21 UTC on January 4, 2021 (00:21 LT, January 5), producing a loud bang that was heard by many people, particularly those in Ullensaker. Norwegian Seismic Array (NORSAR) said ground impact was recorded at 23:24 UTC, 15 to 20 km (9 - 12.4 miles) S of their measuring station at Løten.

    On Tuesday, residents in Norway reported a bright fireball with a loud bang as the object entered the atmosphere. The sound was heard by people in the municipality of Ullensaker.

    According to the Norwegian meteor network, the object traveled at a speed of 50 000 km/h (31 000 mph).

    The meteor penetrated very far into the atmosphere and gave a fairly powerful bang, an indicator that meteorites have fallen to the ground, said Steinar Midtskogen with the meteor network.

    "The signal came from a southern direction and coincides with reports of sound heard by people in Ullensaker municipality," NORSAR wrote in a press release.

    The Blue arrow shows the meteor's visible movement over the terrain. Image credit: Norsk Meteor Nettverk

    The agency noted that the meteorite possibly weighed up to 2 kg (2.2 lbs). However, researchers said it may be a challenge to find the meteorite.

    "It would have been fun to find it, but it requires first and foremost luck to find a meteor deep in the forest," said Tormod Kværna with NORSTAR.

    "We are talking about very small rocks, and if they end up somewhere out in the woods and there is snow, then it is almost hopeless to find now," Midtskogen added.

    "There is an area of ​​several square kilometers that must be searched. I reckon that there may be some smaller meteorites here at a few hundred grams maybe, so it will be a bit like the needle in the haystack. We are talking about stones the size of an apple or smaller."

    Norsk Meteor Nettverk videos:

    In an update posted on January 11, NORSAR said ground impact signal was recorded at 23:24:36 UTC -- 15 to 20 km (9 - 12.4 miles) S of their measuring station at Løten in Innlandet -- around Eidsfjellet, east of Tangen, and west of Flisa.

    The yellow line shows the track of the meteor and the marker NORSAR's station.

    WATCH: Cosmic Fireball Falls from the Sky, Crashes into Lake

  • Giant Meteor Crashes into Chinese City, Sending Shockwaves

    Meteor Incident Update Dec 27, 2020

    According to a report published by dnaindia.coma major disaster took place in China when a huge ball of fire fell from the sky and crashed into the north-western city Yushu on Wednesday.

    A huge explosion was heard after the fireball hit the ground, sending shockwaves across the city.

    In a video shared on YouTube, the giant fireball can be seen flashing across the sky over the county of Nangqian in north-western China’s Qinghai province.

    At present, there is no clear information about this fireball nor has the cause behind it falling from the sky has been discovered. However, the local media of China has raised the possibility that a glowing meteorite has dropped.

    At the same time, some experts are also considering it as a meteorite.

    A local citizen named Dan Ba said that he had witnessed this incident while taking his child to school. He said that this fireball was small at first, but after three minutes it became very big and bright.

    In the plane going from Xi'an to Lhasa, the passengers also saw this fireball falling towards the earth and shot videos. Many videos and photos of this mysterious incident are becoming viral on social media.

    The Earthquake Network Center of China has said that it has recorded the incident. It issued a statement saying that the suspected meteorite fell between Nangqian County and Yusu County at around 7.25 am. TheNangqian County government said that it had come to know about the case, but was not fully informed.

  • Meteorite crashes into house in Indonesia, creates sonic blast

    A meteorite destroyed a roof before crashing in a village in Central Lampung, Indonesia on January 28, 2021 at 10:00 pm, local time.

    According to witnesses, the crash was accompanied by a loud booming noise similar to that of a bomb explosion.

    After looking several minutes for the source of the bang, some villagers found a warm rock in a small crater in a private garden at Astomulyo Village in Punggur District. As if it had fallen from the sky.

    Other residents, several kilometers away from the fall location (Tanggamus area, North Lampung, West Lampung and even in the Metro), reported seeing a bright light falling from the sky.

    There was no earthquake activity in the area and at the time the event occurred.

    WATCH:Mysterious Booming Shock Waves Ripple Across the World

  • Rare Fireball Meteorite Pieces Discovered in the UK

    Late last month, a spectacular fireball lit up the night sky over the United Kingdom and Northern Europe. Now, locals are starting to recover leftover meteorite fragments — and scientists say they may contain the "building blocks of life." 

    An extremely rare meteorite — found on an unassuming driveway of a house in Gloucestershire — marks the first piece of space rock discovered in the U.K. in 30 years, the Natural History Museum of London said in a statement Tuesday. It will give researchers a peek into what the solar system looked like when it was forming, some 4.6 billion years ago. 

    They've nicknamed it the Winchcombe meteorite, for the town where it landed. 

    The rare find is the result of a fireball spotted on February 28, around 10 p.m., over the western part of the U.K. The bright flash lasted about six seconds, the museum said.

    The museum is now analyzing fragments of the meteorite, which weighs just 10.6 ounces. The special type of meteorite is known as a carbonaceous chondrite

    "This is really exciting," museum researcher Sara Russell said in a statement. "There are about 65,000 known meteorites in the entire world, and of those only 51 of them are carbonaceous chondrites that have been seen to fall like this one." 

    Researchers say the meteorite's relatively slow speed of about 8 miles per second may be to thank for the rock's survival.

    "'It is almost mind-blowingly amazing, because we are working on the asteroid sample return space missions Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx, and this material looks exactly like the material they are collecting," Russell said. "I am just speechless with excitement." 

    The man who found the meteorite had missed the fireball's entry, and was surprised to wake up to a "black, sooty splatter mark" on his driveway. Researchers describe it as looking like coal, but feeling much softer and more fragile. 

    The sample is in such good condition, it's essentially comparable to rock samples from the space missions.

    "For somebody who didn't really have an idea what it actually was, the finder did a fantastic job in collecting it," Dr. Ashley King, a researcher at the museum, said in a statement. "He bagged most of it up really quickly on Monday morning, perhaps less than 12 hours after the actual event. He then kept finding bits in his garden over the next few days." 

    The museum said that the rock likely holds soft clay minerals, suggesting it once contained frozen water ice. Carbonaceous chondrites are made up of a combination of minerals and organic compounds, including the building blocks of life — amino acids.

    This type of meteorite stems from an asteroid that formed millions of years ago, when the planets in our solar system were forming. Scientists believe they hold precious information about our early solar system. 

    "Meteorites like this are relics from the early Solar System, which means they can tell us what the planets are made of," Russell said. "But we also we think that meteorites like this may have brought water to the Earth, providing the planet with its oceans." 

    A record number of people spotted and reported the fireball, and there were a plethora of doorbell camera footage, dashcam videos and social media moments to aid scientists in determining where the meteorite came from. 

    The U.K. Fireball Alliance determined the extraterrestrial rock zoomed to Earth from the outer regions of the asteroid belt — located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. 

    So much space rock has been recovered, that researchers can use the samples as a sort of test run for the types of experiments they hope to perform on meteorites returned from the recent space missions. 

    "There are so many things that just went right," Russell said. "I was a PhD student when the last UK meteorite fell and I have been waiting ever since. I have always daydreamed that there would be a carbonaceous chondrite, but you don't really expect that to happen at all. It is absolutely a dream come true." 

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