View Full Version : Discussion: Meteorite Injures 20 in India

2003-Sep-29, 05:29 PM
SUMMARY: At least 20 people were injured and several homes were destroyed when a meteorite crashed into a village in eastern India. Several reports say that a fireball flew across the sky, and burning fragments rained down across a wide area. Officials are in the area now, assessing the damage, and trying to help recover pieces of the meteorite for further study.

Comments or questions about this story? Feel free to share your thoughts.

2003-Sep-30, 12:32 AM
This evening at approx. 23.10 h.(local time,I live in the Netherlands) I stood in our backgarden ,looking south-south east,when a fiery object caught my eye.Apparrently a piece of whatever material,spaceflightdebry or a meteorite fell down with a glowing tail behind it.Ihave no idea how farr away it was,but I had the strong impression that it was big enough to reach the ground...As I stated ,we live in the Netherlands,in the north on one of the "Waddenislands" named Ameland.If any material did reach the ground it was well south of where I stood, maybe even in Belgium?Thought you might find it interesting to know.

2003-Sep-30, 02:14 AM
Just a thought: whats the most exotic material ever found on a meteorite? Are they just iron & rock?

No One Is For Me
2003-Sep-30, 04:07 AM
I thought that so far only one person had previously been hit by a meteroite?

Am I wrong?

Isn't this a very big deal?

2003-Sep-30, 05:45 AM
I think that's right. An Egyptian dog was killed once.

2003-Sep-30, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by fraser@Sep 30 2003, 05:45 AM
I think that's right. An Egyptian dog was killed once.
Gheghe :D yes in 1911. So nothing to worry about. Its just bad luck that the meteorite hit a little town in India. I'm glad all of the twenty injures are all right. It could have been worser.

2003-Sep-30, 05:46 PM
I'm not sure everyone's fine. I heard a report that one person died. I'll do another story once I've got more concrete information.

2003-Sep-30, 06:21 PM
Does anyone know what time or how big it was?

2003-Oct-01, 08:09 AM
There seems to be a lot of metorites latley.
I saw one early this morning, round 1:45 AM CDT.
It was bright white, and seemingly came from nowhere, arcing accross the northern sky and down. It looked like someone had thrown a lit sparkler.

At work, my superviser and a delivery driver both saw a big very bright green one.
I didn't catch the direction it was headed though.

I thought the next meteor event was like late Oct. Perses if I remember correctly.

2003-Oct-01, 10:22 PM
Check out NASAs' "Picture of the Day" ! :o

Click Here... (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap031001.html)

2003-Oct-01, 10:38 PM
News up date
only three people had been injured as a result of the meteorite falling to earth. Earlier reports said at least 20 people had been hurt. An old man receiving treatment in hospital is also reported to have died of shock on seeing the meteor.

more here
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asi...sia/3149404.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3149404.stm)

Sid Wilson
2003-Oct-02, 06:37 PM
After all the hype of a meteorite possibly on course for Earth, and then finding that it would not collide and destroy us, I find it hard to accept that we did not know this would happen to India . People have been injured, shouldn't we have been able to avoid this? :angry:

2003-Oct-02, 10:56 PM
These things are tiny. The meteors you normally see in the sky are usually the size of a grain of dust, maybe up to a tiny rock. The thing that hit India was probably only a foot across at most. There was no way to see this coming. We haven't even found all the 10 km objects, not to mention the 1-metre objects.

2003-Oct-05, 01:14 AM
thomas, wow, that's quite an image... I find that hard to believe that it was sunlight relfected off an aircraft contrail though...

Sid, you might find it hard to believe, but the fact remains that it's still entirely possible that an object large enough to at least destroy a city could enter the Earth's atmosphere and the first we'll know of it is when we hear the sonic boom. It depends on several factors, but we've had more than a few very near misses in the past where we've only discovered the rock months after the close encounter.

I kid you not. There's too few people with too little equipment looking for too many dangerous rocks.

2003-Oct-06, 01:07 AM
In fact Sid, I just saw this story online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3160352.stm

This story is dated Thursday October 2nd... particularly notice how it wasn't discovered until 11 hours after it had passed us. That's potentially 11 hours too late! Like I said, had it been bigger and on a collision course, the first we'd know of it would be when we hear the sonic booms.

Last week a small asteroid became the closest natural celestial object to pass by the Earth.

It posed no danger but it was close
It was found by astronomers at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, which conducts a sky survey for so-called Near Earth Objects.

The 4 - 8 metre rock passed just 88,000 kilometres from the Earth on 27 September. That is 0.23 of the distance from the Earth to the Moon.

Designated 2003 SQ222 it was detected 11 hours after its closest approach.

Observations made by professionals and amateurs have allowed its orbit to be determined. It circles the Sun every 1.85 years.

Experts say the object is far too small to have posed a danger to Earth, although it would have been a spectacular fireball had it entered and partially fragmented in our atmosphere.

The previous record for closest approach of an asteroid was 108,000 km in 1994 by an object named 1994 XM1 that was about the same size as 2003 SQ222.

2003-Oct-06, 07:17 AM
Earth is 70% ocean. So 70% of the amount of surface area of Earth is in fact water. Not many asteroids actually hit the ground, and of those 70% of them would hit water. Only 30% of all asteroids would hit land and humans don't occupy all land. The population density for USA is a mere 29 people/sq km, and the population density is 3 people/sq km. So the chance of being hit by an asteroid I'd say is fairly low. These people must be very unlucky.

2003-Oct-07, 02:20 AM
If an asteroid or other chunk of rock were to hit the oceans, you'd better pray it's not too large - or else you'd have tidal waves and tsunami hitting the coastlines of every continent within reach... and the waves could reach hundreds of miles inland...

2003-Nov-29, 12:50 PM

2003-Nov-30, 01:27 AM
I don&#39;t think most people see it as a religious effect... why would they?

2003-Nov-30, 11:39 AM
It wouldn&#39;t surprise me if many people still see these and other phenomena as having some mystic religious meaning, and perhaps more on Sri Lanka where Munasinghe is from. I don&#39;t know. I do know though that as soon as we don&#39;t have a good explanation, we&#39;re going to turn to gods. Heh, some do it even when there *are* better explanations.

2004-Apr-16, 09:41 AM
September 27,2003 : Juganatha Fireball Event

Orissa event known as "Juganath Meteorite" has been one of most spectacular event in the Indian subcontinent since last which hit Orissa in the last century.
We were a team which had reached Orissa just Meteoric hit, this event happened around 18:30 hours local time (13:00 UT). The description of this event is as follows:" .... around 18:30 hours the eastern sky was so brightly lit it was like a local afternoon the brightness was so strong that many rushed indoors. Over few hubdreds of thousands were witness to this spectacular FIREBALL event. The luminous ball was bluish white, crackling and making a lot of noise intial people thought that it could have some rocket which was being tested nearby site. But that was not the case. it was truly a a great fireball event of the century.. "said Inspector of Police at Baripada.
The area where this fireball must have burst forth, has covered over 8 districts, measuring an area of about 14 to 15 thousand square kilometers. We visited the site wherein the meteorite passed over a hut in Sudsudia, Kaptipada, the roof of the hut was totally burnt and we were able to recover some residue of the meteor. On further investigation we also heard that where the meteor fell in nearby pond, and this water in the pond was boiling. We were able to recover more meteoric residue along with burnt ashes of the roof. We covered nearly 4 district and were able to see meteorite samples from 3 districts, and did recover the meteorite samples from Purab Suniti, Kenrapara district. The results of &#39;Juganatha meteorite&#39; is in Publication with "CURRENT SCIENCE".
We are now trying to determine the orbit parameters based on meteorite impact craters formed in Paschim Suniti, Purab Suniti, Jubna all in Mahakalpada region we had seen more than 4 craters in this region, the largest meteoric crater "Balbhadra crater" was the largest. the region where there several craters formed is in the paddy fields many of them have been washed away.
However we are looking for satellite data over India on that day, this might help in determining the actual brightness magntude for this event.
Brian Marsden ruled out that Near Earth Asteroid 2003SQ222 which came close to Earth, 10 hours prior to this event. But the event was of larger magnitude then the Tagish Lake in Canada.

The work is still in progress any other details ca be provided.you can discuss this further bharatadur@rediffmail.com

2006-Aug-03, 06:46 AM
It is strange that the Meteoritical Bulletin Database for 2003 says this event in Orissa happened in Kendrapara; which is half truth. The event had happened in an area of 36,000 sq kilometers and (MB) has named it after one district only. The paper which is published is only the half truth and we had visited the hut of Mr. Nayak whose roof was burnt down by the fireball.The debris of the meteorite we have recovered from the so called district of Kendrapara.We have photographs to prove the same.

Blue Fire
2006-Aug-06, 05:02 PM
The Space Studies Institute has a review of Rain of Iron and Ice http://ssi.org/?page_id=20

The following is from: http://www.xenophilia.com/zb0005.htm as regards the content of the book.

Here are a few interesting meteor strikes, including the Hodges event from "Rain of Iron and Ice", by John Lewis, 1997. This book lists every known damage, injury, and death from meteorites and air bursts (when a meteor explodes at altitude like a nuclear bomb, but without the radiation) back to 1400 BC. Here are some highlights:

"Barbotan, France 7/24/1790: Meteorite crushed cottage- killed farmer and some cattle.

Martinsville W.Virginia 3/11/1897: Man knocked out, horse killed, walls pierced.

Yugoslavia 12/8/1929: Meteor hits bridal party, killed 1 (speak now or forever hold your...)

Holbrook, Arizona 7/19/12: Building struck, 14,000 STONES FELL

San Francisco Sept 28, 1934: Plowing head on at 7000 ft into great shower of meteors, United airliner rocked by some explosions.

Alabama 11/28/54: Mrs. Annie Hodges struck by 9lb meteorite that crashed through roof, destroying radio

2006-Aug-25, 06:56 PM
It hit Hodges square on the hip.

2007-Apr-06, 06:10 PM
Some recent work indicates that meteors may actually have played a role in the evolution of Homo Sapiens ...

"Scientists in the working group say the evidence for such impacts during the past 10,000 years, known as the Holocene epoch, is strong enough to overturn current estimates of how often the Earth suffers a violent impact on the order of a 10-megaton explosion. Instead of once in 500,000 to 1 million years, as astronomers now calculate, catastrophic impacts could happen every few thousand years."


More detailed study of suspected paleo-tsunamis from Australia. Runups in excess of 20 miles from shore.


Here's information on confirmed land impacts, somewhat dated. No obvious smoking guns here, although there is an impact in S Africa (Tswaing)around 220K years ago. Tha database can be sorted by name, age, and diameter. Photos also available.


A newly presented mathematical argument suggests that the birth of Homo sapiens was guided by catastrophic asteroid or comet impacts, which created climate conditions that competing species, frankly, couldn't handle.

Basic numbers questioned
Of course to affect human evolution in any fashion, a space rock first has to hit Earth. But "no one knows how many impacts took place, or when, or with what severity, over the past 5 million years," said David Morrison, an asteroid expert at NASA's Ames Research Center in California.
Morrison told SPACE.com that instead of the 20 potentially devastating impacts assumed by the study, he expects there were probably only five or 10 with enough energy to create global environmental effects.
"But we know very little about specific impacts in this time frame, and virtually nothing at all about their actual environmental effects," Morrison said, adding that there is "no evidence of an impact associated with a hominid extinction."
Morrison did not discount the whole idea, however.
"I would be surprised if impacts had not had some influence on early hominid populations and perhaps evolution," he said. "On the other hand, I am not convinced that impacts led to numerous extinctions in the past 5 million years. This is all interesting speculation, but specific data are lacking on either impacts or extinction events and there is no known correlation between the two."
Peiser counters that the estimates used in the study are "very conservative." He acknowledges that shortcomings in the human fossil record (fossils on land erode more easily than those in the oceans) "are far too big to allow any direct correlation between impact catastrophes and hominid extinction." But he said that the study shows that "impact catastrophes that occurred during the crucial period of human evolution should no longer be ignored."
Still, it is clear that more research will be needed before any consensus emerges.
"What [Peiser and Paine] may have added," said Balding, the statistics professor, "is some quantitative simulations to make more precise some well established speculations."


And oh, by the way, meteor impacts may be responsible for the evolution of sex :)