Struck by a meteorite?

It has been reported in various places that two bystanders at a cricket match in southern England had an encounter with an extraterrestrial bit of rock. They describe seeing it shoot over the ground, break in two before them, one bit hitting one guy, another reaching the boundary. The rock is described as 5-6 inches in diameter. A meteor expert is quoted as this being the first fall since 1992.

Ian O’Neill does a good job of debunking this, with one minor error. A ‘fall’ to a meteor expert is one of two categories of meteorites, falls and finds, referring to when they were seen – falling, or found later – not to meteorites actually physically falling. The papers made the same error, although they accepted the idea of this being the first fallen meteorite since 1992…

However, he is right about problems with the descriptions of the size (and appearance) of the meteorite candidate. In the local paper, something tiny is shown, whereas in this report, something 5-6 inches is shown for illustration. Note the small disparity. Ian also mentions the difficulties in seeing something so small and so fast travelling over the horizon until it hits. But however it actually got there, it will be up to the experts to determine the composition of the rock.

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3 responses to “Struck by a meteorite?

  1. Pingback: Did the Cosmos Deliver a Googly? ‘Meteorite’ Lands on Cricket Pitch | Astroengine.com

  2. Hi Phil, thanks for the clarification on this. You learn something new every day 🙂 I’ve added a note to my article referencing your text: http://www.astroengine.com/?p=7330

    Cheers!
    Ian

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