PDA

View Full Version : Meteorite hits girl



ToSeek
2003-May-26, 03:14 AM
According to the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2218755.stm)

So what are the odds of this really being true? (And I can't believe I found a genuine news item on GodlikeProductions!)

Gsquare
2003-May-26, 03:27 AM
According to the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2218755.stm)

So what are the odds of this really being true? (And I can't believe I found a genuine news item on GodlikeProductions!)

Yep, earth is quite a dangerous place to live. :wink: I remember hearing about it last year. I like the quote in the article: "This does not happen that often in Northallerton". Well, in that case, maybe we won't cancel our vacation plans to Northallerton after all. :lol: :D

G^2

Elvithriel
2003-May-26, 04:24 AM
Its been known to happen.

I think you have a better chance of being hit by a meteor then you do of being struck by lighting. Please correct me if i'm wrong.

Kaptain K
2003-May-26, 04:43 AM
Its been known to happen.

I think you have a better chance of being hit by a meteor then you do of being struck by lighting. Please correct me if i'm wrong.

Not just wrong, but very wrong! An average of 86 people in the U.S. alone die of lightning every year. This does not include those who were struck, but lived to tell about it.

I've only heard of less than half a dozen people in the world being struck by meteors in the last 50 years, with no fatalities.

roidspop
2003-May-26, 05:29 AM
There are some things about this story that don't quite ring true.

The image shows a small stone covered with many vesicles...I haven't found an image yet of any similar object which has definitely been identified as a meteorite. Typically, small stony meterorites have a fusion crust which is more or less intact depending on the violence of impact. But nothing about entry into the atmosphere would tend to produce such an abundance of small cavities in the surface, as far as I know.

The young woman described the stone as being quite hot when she picked it up, but it is generally understood that ablation during entry strips away the heated rock from the surface and the remainder can actually be quite cold to the touch, shortly after impact. This may be arguable...a fall in near Portales NM a few years ago was reported as being quite warm to the touch.

It looks like a piece of volcanic rock. It might be slag. I wonder if we'll ever hear what the authorities decide about it?

Darnon
2003-May-26, 12:18 PM
The authorities? Are they going to press charges against the body from which the meteorite came?

Darnon

tracer
2003-May-26, 03:58 PM
The the asteroid or comet who perpetrated this hienous act must be brought to justice immediately!

tjm220
2003-May-26, 06:13 PM
Also discussed here:

http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=2090&highlight=[/url]

Rodina
2003-May-26, 08:34 PM
I think a dog was killed in Egypt in the 1930s by a meteorite. It certainly can happen.

jest
2003-May-26, 08:53 PM
Ok, I'm no expert here but wouldn't that have actually killed her had it been heading down from the heavens? I saw a report once of a guy's car being wrecked because a similar sized rock fell through the atmosphere and punched a hole through the trunk of his 70's model car, and about a foot deep into his driveway. Even had a pic of him holding a broomstick through the car's new hole, and into the driveway. I'd say that any rock hitting a mammal would probably be fairly terminal, don't you think?

Also, that rock she is holding appears to be from a bar-b-que ;)

Colt
2003-May-26, 10:19 PM
Meteor Strikes (http://www.branchmeteorites.com/metstruck.html).

Don't ask me what the one in red at the bottom is as it is from today.. -Colt

David Hall
2003-May-27, 09:25 PM
Ok, I'm no expert here but wouldn't that have actually killed her had it been heading down from the heavens? I saw a report once of a guy's car being wrecked because a similar sized rock fell through the atmosphere and punched a hole through the trunk of his 70's model car, and about a foot deep into his driveway. Even had a pic of him holding a broomstick through the car's new hole, and into the driveway. I'd say that any rock hitting a mammal would probably be fairly terminal, don't you think?

Also, that rock she is holding appears to be from a bar-b-que ;)

That would be the Peekskill meteorite, famous for being one of the first to be caught on videotape as it came in.

When a small meteor enters the atmosphere, it gets slowed down to terminal velocity, after which it falls just like a normal Earth rock would. The Peekskill rock damaged the car because it was pretty large. A small pebble probably wouldn't cause much, if any, damage.

[edit] Here's a good page about the Peekskill fireball: http://uregina.ca/~astro/mb_5.html

David Hall
2003-May-27, 10:00 PM
Meteor Strikes (http://www.branchmeteorites.com/metstruck.html).

Don't ask me what the one in red at the bottom is as it is from today.. -Colt

Read again. The last one is March 26th, and it refers to the fireball that exploded over the midwest on that date, which we talked about here (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=4430).

jest
2003-May-27, 10:34 PM
...And that's why I state that I'm no expert ;)

beskeptical
2003-May-28, 02:46 AM
I think a dog was killed in Egypt in the 1930s by a meteorite. It certainly can happen.

From an unnamed source at the Astronomy Dept at the U of WA, this has not been substantiated though it is referred to often.

beskeptical
2003-May-28, 02:54 AM
The following is what I wrote on the other thread:


The picture isn't big enough to really tell but it looks like it could be a meteorite. Meteorites don't look like 'lava' but the surface can be pitted with thumbprint like dents.

Bubbled shiny surface certainly fits a meteorite.

"It looked very unusual, with a bubbled surface and tiny indentations like volcanic lava."

"It was shiny on one side and looked rusty as if it contained iron."

It shouldn't be 'rusty', not enough time on Earth. But asteroid Vesta pieces are rust colored.

Reporters never know enough to ask the right questions: Is it very heavy and does a magnet stick to it?

The fusion crust is only about a millimeter or less of melted surface. That could be warm for a minute or so after impact.

I will also bet that the comment, "The stone could have come from Mars, according to expert on Earth impacts Dr Benny Peiser, of Liverpool John Moores University," was one of many possibilities the Dr mentioned and the reporter edited out the rest. We must spoon feed things of interest to the public lest their short attention span interfere with reading the article.

Most meteors are between five and 60 centimetres (1.95 in and 1 ft 11.5 in) long, according to Durham University physical geography lecturer Dr Ben Horton.

I don't know where he's getting that from. Maybe 'physical geographers' aren't up on planetary geology. Certainly smaller and bigger rocks make it to the surface but I have no idea if the're more numerous in the cited size range.

Most meteors are grain size specks, Wally, but meteorites have to be big enough to reach the surface before disentigrating, and big enough to be found.

I'm gonna bet it's real. I think the shiny bubbled surface is an indication it isn't a rock someone tossed or that fell from an airplane wheelwell or something. Unless it's a total hoax in which case it could still be a meteorite. That has been done before.

Guess I'll have to see if there have been any follow up reports on the analysis of the stone to see if I win my bet.

BTW, just what did the godlike productions have to say about the story?

RafaelAustin
2003-May-28, 05:12 AM
Here's a list of injury/fatal strikes:

http://www.oberlin.edu/library/sciencelib/geo117/group9/group9.html

1420 BC Israel - Fatal meteorite impact.
588 AD China - 10 deaths; siege towers destroyed.
1321-68 China - People & animals killed; homes ruined.
1369 Ho-t'ao China - Soldier injured; fire.
02/03/1490 Shansi, China - 10,000 deaths.
09/14/1511 Cremona, Italy - Monk, birds, & sheep killed.
1633-64 Milono, Italy - Monk killed.
1639 China - Tens of deaths; 10 homes destroyed.
1647-54 Indian Ocean - 2 sailors killed aboard a ship.
07/24/1790 France - Farmer killed; home destroyed; cattle killed.
01/16/1825 Oriang, India - Man killed; woman injured.
02/27/1827 Mhow, India - Man injured.
12/11/1836 Macao, Brazil - Oxen killed; homes damaged.
07/14/1847 Braunau, Bohemia - Home struck by 371 lb meteorite.
01/23/1870 Nedagolla, India - Man stunned by meteorite.
06/30/1874 Ming Tung li, China - Cottage crushed, child killed.
01/14/1879 Newtown, Indiana, USA - Man killed in bed.
01/31/1879 Dun-Lepoelier, France - Farmer killed by meteorite.
11/19/1881 Grossliebenthal, Russia - Man injured.
03/11/1897 West Virginia, USA - Walls pierced, horse killed, man injured.
09/05/1907 Weng-li, China - Whole family crushed to death.
06/30/1908 Tunguska, Siberia - Fire, 2 people killed. (referenced throughout paper)
04/28/1927 Aba, Japan - Girl injured by meteorite.
12/08/1929 Zvezvan, Yugoslavia - Meteorite hit bridal party, 1 killed.
05/16/1946 Santa Ana, Mexico - Houses destroyed, 28 injured.
11/30/1946 Colford, UK - Telephones knocked out, boy injured.
11/28/1954 Sylacauga, Alabama, USA - 4 kg meteorite struck home, lady injured.
08/14/1992 Mbole, Uganda - 48 stones fell, roofs damaged, boy injured.

Tuckerfan
2003-May-28, 05:56 AM
I knew a cop who was nearly struck and killed by a meteorite whilst standing on his front porch. He showed me the thing a few days after it happened. It was round, and about the size of a softball, and certainly volcanic in origin. According to him, it ripped through the soffit of his house, took a chunk out of the railing around the porch and buried itself in the ground. He said that it was several hours before the meteorite had cooled enough for him to be able to touch it. The most amazing thing about it was the green swirls in part of it. They didn't look at all like glass, and I have no idea what they might have been. The rest of it was about the color of the rock that the girl in the photo is holding in her hand. The cop claimed later on that he sold it to NASA, but wouldn't tell me how much they paid him for it.

beskeptical
2003-May-28, 06:33 AM
Here's a list of injury/fatal strikes:

http://www.oberlin.edu/library/sciencelib/geo117/group9/group9.html

1420 BC Israel - Fatal meteorite impact.
588 AD China - 10 deaths; siege towers destroyed.
1321-68 China - People & animals killed; homes ruined.
1369 Ho-t'ao China - Soldier injured; fire.
02/03/1490 Shansi, China - 10,000 deaths.
09/14/1511 Cremona, Italy - Monk, birds, & sheep killed.
1633-64 Milono, Italy - Monk killed.
1639 China - Tens of deaths; 10 homes destroyed.
1647-54 Indian Ocean - 2 sailors killed aboard a ship.
07/24/1790 France - Farmer killed; home destroyed; cattle killed.
01/16/1825 Oriang, India - Man killed; woman injured.
02/27/1827 Mhow, India - Man injured.
12/11/1836 Macao, Brazil - Oxen killed; homes damaged.
07/14/1847 Braunau, Bohemia - Home struck by 371 lb meteorite.
01/23/1870 Nedagolla, India - Man stunned by meteorite.
06/30/1874 Ming Tung li, China - Cottage crushed, child killed.
01/14/1879 Newtown, Indiana, USA - Man killed in bed.
01/31/1879 Dun-Lepoelier, France - Farmer killed by meteorite.
11/19/1881 Grossliebenthal, Russia - Man injured.
03/11/1897 West Virginia, USA - Walls pierced, horse killed, man injured.
09/05/1907 Weng-li, China - Whole family crushed to death.
06/30/1908 Tunguska, Siberia - Fire, 2 people killed. (referenced throughout paper)
04/28/1927 Aba, Japan - Girl injured by meteorite.
12/08/1929 Zvezvan, Yugoslavia - Meteorite hit bridal party, 1 killed.
05/16/1946 Santa Ana, Mexico - Houses destroyed, 28 injured.
11/30/1946 Colford, UK - Telephones knocked out, boy injured.
11/28/1954 Sylacauga, Alabama, USA - 4 kg meteorite struck home, lady injured.
08/14/1992 Mbole, Uganda - 48 stones fell, roofs damaged, boy injured.

Some of the incidents on this list aren't well supported by the references cited in the link. Many of the links in the citation are no longer valid but I did find this one still worked.

http://www.au.af.mil/au/2025/volume3/chap16/v3c16-2.htm

It appears the majority of the incidents were copied from this text. So I went to the bibliography and found nothing that appeared to be an original reference. In other words, most of this list is from someone telling someone telling someone.... Original references I would expect to find would be local newspaper accounts from the time, historical documents, things like that.

A few of these incidents are well documented. Tunguska is though I was not aware there were any deaths attributed to the event. I think the injured woman and house from 1954, the Peekskill hitting the car, and the most recent fall in South Chigago hitting buildings are well documented, (the last two are not from the list). I don't have any reason to doubt falls throughout history have hit houses and buildings and maybe a person or animal. But 10,000 people in China in 1490? I just don't think the majority of incidents on that list are very reliable.

beskeptical
2003-May-28, 06:45 AM
I knew a cop who was nearly struck and killed by a meteorite whilst standing on his front porch. He showed me the thing a few days after it happened. It was round, and about the size of a softball, and certainly volcanic in origin. According to him, it ripped through the soffit of his house, took a chunk out of the railing around the porch and buried itself in the ground. He said that it was several hours before the meteorite had cooled enough for him to be able to touch it. The most amazing thing about it was the green swirls in part of it. They didn't look at all like glass, and I have no idea what they might have been. The rest of it was about the color of the rock that the girl in the photo is holding in her hand. The cop claimed later on that he sold it to NASA, but wouldn't tell me how much they paid him for it.

Did he offer to sell you a bridge by any chance?

Meteorites DO look glass covered (very thin fusion crust) when they fall but they do NOT look volcanic unless you mean obsidian. They don't end up buried when they fall unless it was deep soft mud or something. Meteorites that make craters are very big. And, they most certainly don't take hours to cool off. A witnessed fall may be at most, warm to the touch. Within minutes meteorites won't even be warm. And, while there is a market for meteorites in the private sector, I'm not sure NASA is one of the customers. They do have a budget to collect them in the Antartic. Maybe one of the NASA folks on the board could tell us if there is a budget to purchase meteorites.

Chip
2003-May-28, 07:31 AM
The girl reported that the meteorite was hot. Why would it not be very cold instead?

As far as its velocity on impact goes, would it be safe to say that if enough of it burned away in the atmosphere, so that only a little core was left, it would be light enough to be pushed around by winds and perhaps slowed so it conceivably wouldn't cause injury if it hit someone?

On the other hand, the larger heavier stone that punched a hole through someone's car not too long ago would have killed a person if it had hit them.

Tuckerfan
2003-May-30, 06:31 AM
I knew a cop who was nearly struck and killed by a meteorite whilst standing on his front porch. He showed me the thing a few days after it happened. It was round, and about the size of a softball, and certainly volcanic in origin. According to him, it ripped through the soffit of his house, took a chunk out of the railing around the porch and buried itself in the ground. He said that it was several hours before the meteorite had cooled enough for him to be able to touch it. The most amazing thing about it was the green swirls in part of it. They didn't look at all like glass, and I have no idea what they might have been. The rest of it was about the color of the rock that the girl in the photo is holding in her hand. The cop claimed later on that he sold it to NASA, but wouldn't tell me how much they paid him for it.

Did he offer to sell you a bridge by any chance?Nope, but I did see the analysis report of the meteorite done by whomever it was. The cop said NASA and I think that it was a lab run by NASA, but it's been nearly ten years since I saw the report, so the details are a little hazy.


Meteorites DO look glass covered (very thin fusion crust) when they fall but they do NOT look volcanic unless you mean obsidian. They don't end up buried when they fall unless it was deep soft mud or something. Meteorites that make craters are very big. And, they most certainly don't take hours to cool off. A witnessed fall may be at most, warm to the touch. Within minutes meteorites won't even be warm. And, while there is a market for meteorites in the private sector, I'm not sure NASA is one of the customers. They do have a budget to collect them in the Antartic. Maybe one of the NASA folks on the board could tell us if there is a budget to purchase meteorites.Who said anything about a crater? It embedded itself in the ground. How deep and how big a hole it made, I don't remember. And it was most definately a porous rock, and quite friable. Certainly not native to the area, and I've never seen anything like it before or since. Aside from the green swirls in it, and a few other colors, it was the color of a brown paper bag and looked like a giant golf ball, except the dips in it were deeper than one would find on a golf ball. If it wasn't a meteorite, I've no idea what it was. I've not spoken to the cop in a number of years, but I think I know where I can find him, so if I get the chance, I'll see if I can't pump him for a few more details on the matter.

beskeptical
2003-May-30, 07:59 AM
.......certainly volcanic in origin. ........ buried itself in the ground. He said that it was several hours before the meteorite had cooled enough for him to be able to touch it. The most amazing thing about it was the green swirls in part of it. They didn't look at all like glass, ........The cop claimed later on that he sold it to NASA, but wouldn't tell me how much they paid him for it.

........I did see the analysis report of the meteorite done by whomever it was. ......the details are a little hazy.

Who said anything about a crater? It embedded itself in the ground. .......it was most definately a porous rock, and quite friable. Certainly not native to the area, and I've never seen anything like it before or since. Aside from the green swirls in it, and a few other colors, it was the color of a brown paper bag and looked like a giant golf ball, except the dips in it were deeper than one would find on a golf ball. .......

Meteorites are extremely dense. Therefore they are NEVER POROUS like a volcanic rock. (The back of my brain is telling me there is an exception where some meteorites have 'vacuoles' but they don't resemble common volcanic rocks.) Now, if it had indentations like thumbprints in clay, that would be more like a meteorite. Your description of a giant golfball might be more like a meteorite. Maybe what you mean by porous isn't what I mean by porous. Volcanic porous rock has holes through and through like a sponge. Meteorites never look like porous lava.

Nickel-Iron meteorites are black or rusted on the surface and very shiny silver if you cut them open.

There are some rare white meteorites. Rocks from Vesta are reddish brown. Most stony meteorites are grey or black. They don't have 'swirls'. Most often they have 'chondrules' which look like tiny beads. Others look like a composite of a bunch of rocks smashed tightly together. Stony-irons can be a mix of metal and stone. Some stony-irons are a mix of metal and glassy rocks.

What I meant by a crater was just saying softball sized meteorites do not 'bury themselves' when they strike the ground unless it is very soft dirt or mud. The one you describe went through the eves of a roof before hitting the ground.

Meteorites NEVER take hours to cool off. They don't start fires. They don't reach the ground in a molten state. They are solid in space. When they fall through the atmosphere, the surface heats up, not the whole thing. Only about a millimeter or less of the surface consists of a 'fusion crust'.

Even iron meteorites are not melted on entry through the atmosphere. The metal inside retains a special pattern only found in meteorites because they formed under different gravity that metals on the Earth. If they reached high temperatures inside, the pattern would be obliterated. The pattern only changes a tiny bit under the fusion crust, indicating the objects do not heat up to a significant degree inside.

Perhaps your memory of the object is a bit faded. If it was a meteorite, it doesn't fit your description. If it fit your description, it wasn't a meteorite.

I have seen lots of meteorites. I have several. The BA has some info on meteorites. From his info page:

Bad Addendum: many people think that a meteorite, after it hits the ground, is very hot and glows red. Actually, meteorites found shortly after impact tend to be warm, but not hot at all! It turns out that it certainly is hot enough to glow while it is in the part of the atmosphere that decelerates it the strongest, but any part that actually melts will be blown off ("ablated") by the wind of its passage. That leaves only the warm part. Even more, the meteor is slowed down so strongly as it moves through the atmosphere that the impact speed is typically only a few hundred kilometers an hour at most. Only the very large (and we're talking meters across) meteors are still moving at thousands of kilometers an hour or more when they impact. Small ones aren't moving that fast at all. Not to say you'd want to be under one: a car in New York was struck by a small meteorite and had a hole punched through it, and the whole back end crushed in. Ouch!

beskeptical
2003-May-30, 08:15 PM
I sent an e-mail several days ago to the university referred to in the BBC article. I asked if they had ID'd the rock. So far, no reply.

tracer
2003-May-30, 08:32 PM
Meteorites NEVER take hours to cool off. They don't start fires. They don't reach the ground in a molten state.
Bah! Next you're going to tell me that they don't glow green, and that they don't imbue you with super powers if you absorb them into your body.

tjm220
2003-May-30, 09:47 PM
Meteorites NEVER take hours to cool off. They don't start fires. They don't reach the ground in a molten state.
Bah! Next you're going to tell me that they don't glow green, and that they don't imbue you with super powers if you absorb them into your body.
Better not make her angry then. :wink:

gethen
2003-May-30, 10:02 PM
This is really gonna date me, but I do remember (beskeptical, I hope this isn't one of those false memories forming) seeing a picture in a magazine of the woman in Colorado in 1954 who was allegedly struck by a meteorite. Huge bruise on her side. Of course, she may have just fallen down the steps in those high heels she was wearing.

ToSeek
2003-May-31, 12:42 AM
This is really gonna date me, but I do remember (beskeptical, I hope this isn't one of those false memories forming) seeing a picture in a magazine of the woman in Colorado in 1954 who was allegedly struck by a meteorite. Huge bruise on her side. Of course, she may have just fallen down the steps in those high heels she was wearing.

Could it be Alabama? (http://www.positron-press.co.uk/c3-5.htm)

Tuckerfan
2003-May-31, 04:08 AM
Meteorites NEVER take hours to cool off. They don't start fires. They don't reach the ground in a molten state.
Bah! Next you're going to tell me that they don't glow green, and that they don't imbue you with super powers if you absorb them into your body.Could be worse, they could turn you into Stephen King! :wink:

Tuckerfan
2003-May-31, 04:12 AM
beskeptical, by coincidence I happened to spot something today that looks awfully similar to the meteorite in question. If you look at the ball (http://www.pier1.com/images/catalog/G42611d.jpg) on this fountain, you'll have a good idea of what the meteorite looked like. The "pores" on the meteorite were slightly smaller than a 1/4 of an inch, and I have no idea how deep they were, because I had nothing small enough to poke in them. I do know that you could hold the thing up to the light, and not see through it. As for the swirls, there weren't very many of them, and the largest was about an inch long, perhaps a 1/16th of an inch wide. I can't recall what the weight of the thing was, nor do I remember what the analysis of the meteorite was, other than it had nothing exotic in it. Nor did it embue one with superpowers. (I swallowed a small amount of scrapings from the meteorite when the cop wasn't looking.)

In the case of the heat, and the impact on the ground, I have only the cop's word on that. The year that it happened, we had a lot of rain, and it's entirely possible that the thing hit the ground after a hard rain. Whatever it was, (and I have a hard time believing that the thing was a hoax on the cop's part), it certainly wasn't from Tennessee. There's only a thin layer of topsoil in this part of the state, and I've not seen any rock here that he could have carved it from.

gethen
2003-May-31, 05:55 AM
This is really gonna date me, but I do remember (beskeptical, I hope this isn't one of those false memories forming) seeing a picture in a magazine of the woman in Colorado in 1954 who was allegedly struck by a meteorite. Huge bruise on her side. Of course, she may have just fallen down the steps in those high heels she was wearing.

Could it be Alabama? (http://www.positron-press.co.uk/c3-5.htm)

That just might be the picture I was thinking of! I was going by the date, thinking it was probably in the 50's, so I thought it might be the Colorado incident. Wow, this means my memory is not yet totally shot.

Sigma_Orionis
2003-May-31, 06:50 PM
This is really gonna date me, but I do remember (beskeptical, I hope this isn't one of those false memories forming) seeing a picture in a magazine of the woman in Colorado in 1954 who was allegedly struck by a meteorite. Huge bruise on her side. Of course, she may have just fallen down the steps in those high heels she was wearing.

Could it be Alabama? (http://www.positron-press.co.uk/c3-5.htm)

That just might be the picture I was thinking of! I was going by the date, thinking it was probably in the 50's, so I thought it might be the Colorado incident. Wow, this means my memory is not yet totally shot.

Well that particular picture was probably shown in Life Magazine I remember seeing it in a Time-Life Book

beskeptical
2003-May-31, 09:24 PM
This is really gonna date me, but I do remember (beskeptical, I hope this isn't one of those false memories forming) seeing a picture in a magazine of the woman in Colorado in 1954 who was allegedly struck by a meteorite. Huge bruise on her side. Of course, she may have just fallen down the steps in those high heels she was wearing.

The incident in question, wherever it was, is well documented. The woman might have been killed but the meteorite fell through the roof and bounced before hitting her.

beskeptical
2003-May-31, 09:32 PM
beskeptical, by coincidence I happened to spot something today that looks awfully similar to the meteorite in question. If you look at the ball (http://www.pier1.com/images/catalog/G42611d.jpg) on this fountain, you'll have a good idea of what the meteorite looked like. The "pores" on the meteorite were slightly smaller than a 1/4 of an inch, and I have no idea how deep they were, because I had nothing small enough to poke in them. I do know that you could hold the thing up to the light, and not see through it. As for the swirls, there weren't very many of them, and the largest was about an inch long, perhaps a 1/16th of an inch wide. I can't recall what the weight of the thing was, nor do I remember what the analysis of the meteorite was, other than it had nothing exotic in it. Nor did it embue one with superpowers. (I swallowed a small amount of scrapings from the meteorite when the cop wasn't looking.)

In the case of the heat, and the impact on the ground, I have only the cop's word on that. The year that it happened, we had a lot of rain, and it's entirely possible that the thing hit the ground after a hard rain. Whatever it was, (and I have a hard time believing that the thing was a hoax on the cop's part), it certainly wasn't from Tennessee. There's only a thin layer of topsoil in this part of the state, and I've not seen any rock here that he could have carved it from.

The ball in the picture is too regular. Was the one you saw that round? An oriented meteorite, (one that falls without tumbling, very rare), can be cone shaped. I have never seen a meteorite that was very round. And, the holes, a meteorite would not have evenly spaced holes.

As far as believing the cop? Anyone can be mistaken, exaggerate, or just tell stories. It is very common.

We always refer to the joke, "it happened to my cousin". People often don't like to not be believed. So when they are repeating a myth they heard from someone else, they will tend to add 'personal' knowledge of the event. Not that the cop was doing that, just that making stuff up is very common in humans.

There are lots of meteor pictures on the web. http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/nineplanets/nineplanets/meteorites.html

Tuckerfan
2003-May-31, 10:37 PM
beskeptical, it was about that round. I couldn't tell you if the holes were that evenly spaced as there was a bunch of them, giving the surface of the meteorite a honeycombed appearance.

beskeptical
2003-Jun-01, 07:50 AM
Tuckerfan,
This is a reasonable place to buy meteorites. Check out their foto gallery to see if any of the meteors resemble the rock you saw.

http://www.meteorlab.com/METEORLAB2001dev/photogal.htm

Tuckerfan
2003-Jun-01, 01:15 PM
Tuckerfan,
This is a reasonable place to buy meteorites. Check out their foto gallery to see if any of the meteors resemble the rock you saw.

http://www.meteorlab.com/METEORLAB2001dev/photogal.htmWell, this one: http://www.meteorlab.com/METEORLAB2001dev/allende.htm has the texture of the one I saw, in that it's not slick and the scattering of the various colors. This one: http://www.meteorlab.com/METEORLAB2001dev/images/vaca2.gif has almost the right color, but it's a touch too dark and way too glossy. It didn't look anything like the meteorites which came from the Moon or Mars. Pity, it would have been nice to be able to say that I've held a hunk of either one of those in my hand.

beskeptical
2003-Jun-02, 12:41 AM
Tuckerfan,
The second one you noted http://www.meteorlab.com/METEORLAB2001dev/vaca.htm
has lots of visible metal in it. You are looking at a cut surface. Look at the close up. Photos just don't show enough, but once you know the shiny whitish things on the closeup are metal, you can get a better idea what you are looking at.

All of the Mars and Lunar meteorites are easy to investigate. There are less than 20 known from Mars. I don't know how many lunar meteorites are out there but it isn't very many. (Lunar rocks collected by Apollo missions are all in the US government's posession though they get loaned out for research and educational purposes.)

So if your friend did have a Mars or Lunar meteorite you could have found that out on the web.

Well, we'll never know unless you get another chance to see the stone with your newly acquired knowledge. :D

BTW, I have one hand size iron meteorite, a Gibeon. I hold it and think of it coming from space, and being older than the Earth. It doesn't have to be from Mars. Don't know, there's just something great about touching it.

The rest of my specimens are smaller. It is worth it to get a few small specimens to get a better idea what they look like.

Tuckerfan
2003-Jun-02, 12:51 AM
Tuckerfan,
The second one you noted http://www.meteorlab.com/METEORLAB2001dev/vaca.htm
has lots of visible metal in it. You are looking at a cut surface. Look at the close up. Photos just don't show enough, but once you know the shiny whitish things on the closeup are metal, you can get a better idea what you are looking at.Well, I don't know if the one I saw had metal in it. I didn't have too much time to look at it (probably only 15 minutes or so), and I didn't want to poke it too much since it was kind of fragile seeming, and I figured that the value of the meteorite would be reduced if I started to rip hunks off of it. There certainly could have been white specks like the one in the picture, but if they were, they were very small, and I was more interested in the small swirls. I don't remember enough of the analysis to say if there was metal in it or not. Just nothing like "unknown" or "Kryptonite" ;).

beskeptical
2003-Jun-02, 01:06 AM
Tuckerfan,
The second one you noted http://www.meteorlab.com/METEORLAB2001dev/vaca.htm
has lots of visible metal in it. You are looking at a cut surface. Look at the close up. Photos just don't show enough, but once you know the shiny whitish things on the closeup are metal, you can get a better idea what you are looking at.Well, I don't know if the one I saw had metal in it. I didn't have too much time to look at it (probably only 15 minutes or so), and I didn't want to poke it too much since it was kind of fragile seeming, and I figured that the value of the meteorite would be reduced if I started to rip hunks off of it. There certainly could have been white specks like the one in the picture, but if they were, they were very small, and I was more interested in the small swirls. I don't remember enough of the analysis to say if there was metal in it or not. Just nothing like "unknown" or "Kryptonite" ;).

As you can see I keep editing my post. I didn't think you'd reply so quickley. A newly fallen meteorite would not likely be fragile. Once they start to weather, they can get more crumbly as the metal rusts. Again, these things are very dense.

Carbonaceous Chondrites might be the closest to a 'crumbly' meteorite but they are not what i'd call fragile.
http://www.meteorlab.com/METEORLAB2001dev/carbchon.htm#CARBOS

It takes an incredibly strong diamond edge rock saw to cut into an iron.

SeanF
2003-Jun-02, 02:04 PM
Meteorites NEVER take hours to cool off. They don't start fires. They don't reach the ground in a molten state.
Bah! Next you're going to tell me that they don't glow green, and that they don't imbue you with super powers if you absorb them into your body.Could be worse, they could turn you into Stephen King! :wink:
No, they don't turn you into Stephen King. But if you are Stephen King, they gradually take over your body with some kind of weird plant growth until you can't take it anymore and blow half your head off with a shotgun.

:)

Tuckerfan
2003-Jun-03, 04:34 AM
As you can see I keep editing my post. I didn't think you'd reply so quickley. A newly fallen meteorite would not likely be fragile. Once they start to weather, they can get more crumbly as the metal rusts. Again, these things are very dense.

Carbonaceous Chondrites might be the closest to a 'crumbly' meteorite but they are not what i'd call fragile.
http://www.meteorlab.com/METEORLAB2001dev/carbchon.htm#CARBOS

It takes an incredibly strong diamond edge rock saw to cut into an iron.Well, I don't think that I could have torn the whole thing apart, but the surface of the thing was fairly easy to erode with my bare hands. The paper towels that the cop had it wrapped in when I saw it, had "sand" from the meteorite in them, where holes hadn't been rubbed into the paper towels from the surface of the meteor.

beskeptical
2003-Jun-03, 03:18 PM
Carbonaceous Chondrites might be the closest to a 'crumbly' meteorite but they are not what i'd call fragile.
http://www.meteorlab.com/METEORLAB2001dev/carbchon.htm#CARBOS

It takes an incredibly strong diamond edge rock saw to cut into an iron.Well, I don't think that I could have torn the whole thing apart, but the surface of the thing was fairly easy to erode with my bare hands. The paper towels that the cop had it wrapped in when I saw it, had "sand" from the meteorite in them, where holes hadn't been rubbed into the paper towels from the surface of the meteor.

I think from that description I have to give it a 'it fails the meteorite test' grade. A newly fallen meteorite would not have taken hours to cool. And if it were the least bit warm, and had gone through the guys roof edge, the story clearly points to a 'fresh fall'. The surface of a freshly fallen meteorite would have a fusion crust. That means the surface had melted. The crust is only about a millimeter or less thick, but it would still be like a glassy surface. There is no way the surface would crumble like sand until it had weatherd significantly.

Oh well, I suppose it was still an interesting rock.