An apparent meteorite fell from the sky and killed a man. This stellar rock is being studied by scientists in New Delhi, India.
At about 12.30 pm on Saturday, a strange object landed near a cafeteria of the Bharathidasan Engineering College. The object crashed into the ground and smashing a water cooler and sending splinters everywhere.
A bus driver named V. Kamaraj was standing nearby was hit by the fragments fired from the crash and died while being taken to the hospital. There were three other people who only suffered injuries. If confirmed, it will be the first recorded death caused by a meteorite in nearly 200 years.
G. Baskar, the college’s principal, said:“There was a noise like a big explosion. It was an abnormal sound that could be heard till at least 3 kilometers away,”. College officials also said that window panes shattered with the impact of the rock. Several buses parked nearby were also damaged with bits of glass from the broken windows.
The crater left at the college was examined by scientists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics this Tuesday. The crater measured 5 foot wide but the object that caused it was impressively small to have caused such mess. The rock was described as a “hard”, “jagged” and “dark blue”; but the most interesting description was “small enough to be held in a closed hand”.
The scientists used metal detectors to check the crater for the presence of metals but said they had yet to determine whether the object was actually from outer space or a piece of a man-made satellite or from a passing airplane. It still has to undergo chemical analysis to confirm its origin.
Sujan Sengupta, an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, said that there was “extremely little possibility of a small meteorite falling to the ground and killing someone”. “If a bigger asteroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it will disintegrate and travel in different directions and because most of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, it is most likely to fall into the ocean,” Mr. Sengupta added.
Source: The Washington Post