quinta-feira, 30 de junho de 2016

'Meteorite' crashes through house roof in Taiwan

A mysterious rock, believed to be a meteorite, crashed through the roof of a house in Phitsanulok's Muang district on Tuesday.

The suspected meteorite fell through the roof of a home in Plai Chumphon sub-district at 7.26am, hit a wall and then bounced to the floor, breaking into five pieces.

“I was having breakfast when there was a loud bang, like a gunshot sound. I looked around and found a rock about the size of an egg and some fragments nearby. I picked up the largest chunk and let go quickly as it was very hot,” 65-year-old home-owner Bualom Chalomprai said.

Mrs Bualom believes the rock is from outer space and will bring her good luck.

Mrs Bualom’s husband, Kittisak, 75, said he heard a sound of explosion in the sky at about 7am before the 300g rock fell through his roof.

Media reports said residents in adjacent districts of Nakhon Thai and Chat Trakan also heard the "explosion".

Scientists at Naresuan University’s department of physics later carried out an initial examination on a small fragment taken from the Chalomprai family home and concluded the object could very likely be a meteorite given its features and the circumstance under which it had been found.

Department head Sarawut Tuantam said the rock’s crust was charcoal black, indicating it had been burned entering Earth's atmosphere at very high speeds. The test also found the chunk contained large amount of iron and was attracted by a magnet.

Prof Sarawut added that the Chalomprais could keep the suspected space rock as it had safe radioactivity levels.

Source: bangkokpost.com


sábado, 23 de abril de 2016

Group of Moroccans Found the Association for Meteorite Professionals in Erfoud, Morocco

Agadir – On April 16th about 120 people got to together in the southern city of Erfoud. The city is considered to be the center of the mineral Meteorite and fossil trade in Morocco.

In this small sleepy, dusty town in the south of Morocco, the main industry until the mid-eighties, was desert oasis agriculture. However, a relatively recent economic transformed the region into a bustling, flourishing port city to the Sahara. The economic revival was due to two main factors. The first was the increase in desert tourism, which now includes very heavily towards geological tourism due to the area’s natural recourses. The second and maybe most important one was the fossil, mineral and meteorite trade.

This last sector has grown tremendously in the last few years. It put Morocco in scientific headlines, every institution around the globe that studies meteorites has Moroccan meteorites in its collection. Over 10,000 meteorites have been classified around the world that have been traced back to Moroccan soil. Furthermore, there have been at least 10 witnesses of meteorite showers. Remnants of such showers have, supposedly, been saved and collected. One of the most famous meteorites, a “Tissint” a stone from Mars that exploded over the town of Tata, was found and made international headlines.

On April 16th the City of Erfoud woke up to see 120 meteorite specialists, dealers, hunters showed up at palms hotel from every corner of the Kingdom. They were all there to attend the official founding of the meteorite association. The group was officially titled the Moroccan Association for Meteorite Professionals and Association Amateurs (AMPAM). Parliamentary representative, Mr. Abdellah Saghiri, was also in attendance. Mr. Saghiri promised to protect the livelihood of those involved in such trade.

The objectives of the Association are as follows:
Educate the public about meteorites through workshops conferences, exhibitions and collaboration with the scientific community.
Create a legal code for the meteorite trade in order to combat criminal activity.
Open up to the international community by collaborating with international institutions, specialists and dealers.
Help create co-ops, organize shows and expositions for crafts, stones and meteorites and integrate these products into the national and regional markets in Morocco.
Create partnerships and exchange visits with any institution or person, whether nationally or internationally.
Help add value to meteorites through workshops and partnerships.
Encourage the commercialization of meteorites nationally and internationally.
Help fund and create a center for meteorite studies and research.
Help set up a national museum for meteorites.

The formation of the association is due to rumors that academics were planning on presenting a law that would ban the buying and selling of minerals, fossils and meteorites. The introduction of such a law would cause a massive socio-economic disaster. Tens of thousands of hard working men and women make a living on this trade, mostly in very harsh desert environments where there is no other way to make a living.

Furthermore, the trade provides Morocco with a lot of revenue. According to statistics of the “office de change” millions of dollars trickle in to the Moroccan economy from this trade every year. The biggest setback would be the loss of international scientific community who would not have access to Moroccan resources. The meteorites would be left to rest under the burning sun of the Sahara, face the hard desert weathering conditions, and benefit no one.

Edited by Kate Hirsch

Source: moroccoworldnews.com

segunda-feira, 8 de fevereiro de 2016

One dead after ‘meteorite’ crashes to earth in college gardens

THIS may be the first official confirmation of an object from space killing a living thing on earth this side of the 20th century.

On Sunday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa issued a statement saying the death of a man on the premises of a private engineering college in Vellore district the day before had been caused by a meteorite.

“A mishap occurred yesterday when a meteorite fell in the campus of a private engineering college in Vellore district’s K Pantharappalli village…,” she said in a release here, adding that she had ordered the district administration and hospital officials to offer the best treatment to the three injured.

Window panes of Bharatidasan Engineering College buses and several glass planes of its building had been damaged when the object said to be a meteorite by the state government fell, causing a loud explosion and leaving a small crater near the college complex. The deceased, a driver with the college named Kamaraj, was at the time walking past the building. The injured were employed as gardeners. None of the students, who were at the time in their classes, was injured.

Police initially probed a terror angle, but as a senior officer told The Indian Express, they couldn’t find any trace of an explosive or grenade causing the blast. Finally, the officer said, they concluded it was the result of a meteorite fall with the help of a senior scientist who was camping in Vellore due to a similar incident two weeks ago. “Following a similar incident near Vellore on January 26, on a paddy field in Alangayam village, a scientist from National Physical Laboratory had been camping near Vellore. When our bomb and explosives experts ruled out the presence of usual chemicals and explosive contents, it was the scientist who visited the campus and confirmed it was an incident caused by a meteorite,” the officer said. While there have been claims earlier of meteorites proving fatal, including in the 20th century, there is no official confirmation of the same except for a cow that came under one in Venezuela in 1972, was struck dead, and quickly eaten. In 2007, the killer meteorite, which came to be used as a doorstop, was put up for auction. At the time, The Telegraph daily of the UK said the Valera meteorite fragment “holds the dubious distinction of being the only extra-terrestrial rock to have caused a death”. The only confirmed human meteorite victim in history so far has been Ann Hodges, who was hit in her Alabama home in 1954 and survived. The most famous and researched incident involving meteorites in recent past was in Chelyabinsk in 2013. While the powerful shock wave from the meteor damaged buildings, shattered glass and left hundreds injured, there were no deaths. The odds of being killed by an asteroid impact, as per experts? Between 1 in 700,000 and 1 in 250 million. The family of Kamaraj, whose luck ran out Saturday, gets Rs 1 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund.

Source: http://indianexpress.com/

Meteorite hits Denmark

On Saturday night, hundreds of Danes witnessed a spectacular phenomenon as the sky suddenly lit up and a loud bang from an explosion echoed across northeastern Zealand, reports DR.

According to Johan Fynbo, a professor of astronomy at the Niels Bohr Institute, everything indicates a meteorite hit Denmark at about 10 pm.

“It must have been a relatively large meteorite. Not the size of a car, but perhaps the size of a handball,” Fynbo told DR.

As a meteorite passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, it burns and creates a visible flash of light in the sky. The bigger the meteorite, the stronger the light, explained Fynbo.

Huge fireball with tail
Among the eye-witnesses were Mikkel Pedersen from Roskilde.

“We were driving home from Hillerød to Roskilde, when at 10 pm we were just outside Slangerup and a strong light suddenly lit up the sky and a huge fireball with a long tail flew right above our car,” he told DR.

“It was a totally wild experience. The whole sky and our car were lit up for several seconds.”

Finders will be rewarded
Another witness, Camilla Hansen from Køge, wrote: “We could see and hear it also in Køge. Several people I know saw flashes of light and I heard a big bang. The lights in my window shook and it was scary. I thought it was an earthquake.”

People are encouraged to report their observations to www.ildkugle.dk or www.stjerneskud.info. The Geological Museum in Copenhagen will reward anyone who recovers a piece of the meteorite so it can be scientifically examined.

Meteorites tend to be black, rounded, heavy and most are attracted to magnets. They can be both rocky and metallic in appearance.

Source: http://cphpost.dk/

terça-feira, 22 de dezembro de 2015

Russian meteorite expedition reaches Antarctica

The Antarctic meteorite expedition is the first scientific project in modern Russia on collecting meteorite material on the southernmost continent.

YEKATERINBURG, December 21. /TASS/. The meteorite expedition of the Ural Federal University has arrived to Antarctica, the university’s press service said on Monday.

"We reached the destination - Novolazarevskaya station. We will set the camp at firt, get some rest and then start working," participants of the expedition said.

The team set off from Yekaterinburg on December 14. It reached Cape Town in two days and after spending three days in South Africa flew to Antarctica. "The expedition is scheduled to end in mid-January. The budget is 8-12 million rubles. The money was collected worldwide, partly donated by sponsors and the University. Students helped as well - they collected around 500,000 rubles with the crowdfunding service," Professor Viktor Grokhovsky told TASS.

Head of the field work Ruslan Kolunin said that weather in Antarctica may be the main problem. "It is cold there, and strong winds are blowing. This will complicate works. We hope to bring back as many samples as possible. They will mainly be small, weighing several grams. The heaviest sample will be the 18-kilogram meteorite," Kolunin noted.

The Antarctic meteorite expedition is the first scientific project in modern Russia on collecting meteorite material on the southernmost continent.

Source: http://tass.ru/en/science/845697

quarta-feira, 25 de novembro de 2015

Syrian refugees join meteorite search in eastern Turkey

Syrian refugees join meteorite search in eastern Turkey
MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly
November 23, 2015

(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Syrian refugees in Turkey have been joining the search for meteorite fragments in the eastern province of Bingol.

In Saricicek a village 5 km (3 miles) east of the provincial capital Bingol showers of extra-terrestrial rocks have fallen on their land since early September.

After hearing rumors that researchers and academics were keen to collect the small meteorites villagers have been gathering them day and night since then.

The area still draws hundreds of locals and foreigners after reports that the meteorites whether for research or collectors cost between 20 and 60 per gram.

Around 40 families of Syrians living in Diyarbakir Sanliurfa and Kilis provinces arrived in the area nearly a week ago in hopes of finding meteorites that have fallen from the skies.

Several Syrians most living in makeshift tents entertain the dream of making money from the stones which they described as a "gift from God".

Abbas Mosa Hemo from the Syrian Raqqa province told Anadolu Agency on Sunday that he came with his family to search for the meteorites.

"We have come to seek the stone God has sent as a gift" said Hemo adding they had been able to find two meteorites despite all their efforts.

Another Syrian Shaban Hemo who fled the Syrian city of Aleppo and now lives in a two-room home in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir said he had not found a single meteorite despite a three-day search.

"It is said 'this stone [meteorite] is very precious worth money go and search them'. If I find any I will build a house with that money when we return to Syria" Shaban Hemo said.

Muslum Sefer another refugee from the Syrian town of Kobani that was thescene of fierce clashes between Daesh and Kurdish fighters said he came to Bingol four days ago to find a meteorite.

"I came here with three four friends of mine. One friend and I found one meteorite each; they offered 300 for them but we declined as we learnt that higher prices are offered in Istanbul" Sefer said.

Sefer said he planned to buy a home with the income from the stones they found.

Ali Halil Hemo said his house in Syria had been decimated in clashes and he also wanted to build a new one if he made money with the meteorites.

"We as family came to the village after learning that a precious stone fell in Bingol; it is holy and precious as it came from the sky and everyone is striving to find this stone" Halil Hemo added.

Ozan Unsalan an associate professor at Istanbul University's science faculty has created a website to gather information about the meteorites.

On Nov. 16 he told the shards found around Saricicek were part of 4Vesta one of the largest asteroids in the solar system and were considered precious among the scientific community.

Last week Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek took to Twitter to ask Turkish users whether they thought the meteorites sold in Saricicek were taxable. More than 28000 twitter users replied to the minister's questions. The majority said the income should not be taxed.

By Servet Gunerigok

Source: menafn.com

terça-feira, 24 de novembro de 2015

Turkey says locals will not be taxed for meteorite sales

A resident shows a piece of a meteorite that fell onto the ground in Sarıçiçek village of Bingöl. (Photo: DHA)

Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek said on Friday that locals from the eastern province of Bingöl will not have to pay a tax on the sales of pieces of a meteorite that fell to the ground near a village there; however, outsiders who come to the area for commercial purposes to pick up and sell the meteorite will be taxed.

Şimşek made the announcement on his Twitter account after holding a poll on the site asking his followers whether they thought the sale of meteorite fragments should be taxed. More than 30,700 people answered Şimşek's question as of Friday afternoon, 72 percent of whom opposed the imposition of a tax.

Debates on whether the sale of the fragments should be taxed or not were fueled by reports that the residents of the village of Sarıçiçek had sold pieces of meteorite for more than TL 1 million in total after a meteor crashed in the area in September.

On Friday, Şimşek wrote, “The sale of meteorite [fragments] by Bingöl locals will not be taxed; however, people who come to the area from other cities for commercial purposes will be subject to the tax.”

The minister said he consulted the Revenues Administration (GİB) of the Ministry of Finance before making his decision.

Şimşek's poll on Twitter drew criticism from Twitter users, some of them saying, “Will you tax the stone sent by God?”

Sarıçiçek, with a population of 3,200, who mostly subsist on farming and sending workers to larger cities for seasonal labor, has seen an influx of wealth after being showered with the valuable stones.

Source: todayszaman.com