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/