Astronomy

Real Stories of getting Hit by Meteorites



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"Real Stories of getting Hit by Meteorites"
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"If the meteorite arrives incandescent and at a high temperature because of friction in the atmosphere, hitting water can create a column of steam," added Jos Ishitsuka, an astronomer at the Peruvian Geophysics Institute, who analyzed the object.

On September 21, 2007, a whole town was psychologically influenced by the hitting of a nearby meteorite. Scientists reported that a rare kind of meteorite struck the high plains of Peru near Lake Titicaca, and was reported to cause a form of illness to some of the residents even though tests revealed that there was no radiation in the area. Samples of the object were confirmed by Peruvian researchers at the lab in Lima, the capital of Peru.

The visiting residents of the newly made meteorite crater, now a muddy pond measuring 42 feet wide by 10 feet deep, began to develop psychological effects and complaining of not feeling well with headaches and nausea. A rash of exaggerated stories about the subterranean geyser eruption or noxious gas releases from the decayed matter under the area where the meteorite had landed due to the boiling water and steam in the area.

But according to Luisa Macedo, the researcher for Peru's Mining, Metallurgy, and Geology Institute (INGEMMET), the illness was the result of the visitors inhaling arsenic fumes, which she found out when she visited the site. When the meteorite landed in the area, gases were created when it hit the ground where an underground water supply was located, tainted with arsenic. This type of landscape was not new in southern Peru, as numerous arsenic deposits were located in this same area, said Modesto Montoya, a nuclear physicist. What he found out was the naturally formed deposits in the area contaminated the local drinking water.

What the locals said was the meteorite came down as a bright, fiery ball with a smoke trail. They became terribly afraid for the lives due to the sound of the meteorite as it streaked toward them, in addition to the smell of it. According to the National Geographic article, the meteorite's impact sent debris flying up to 820 feet away. Some of the meteorite debris landed on a nearby home at a distance of 390 feet from the crater, with minor tremors effecting the residents both physically and emotionally.

But still, speculation is going around about what has caused the crater in the Peruvian town of Carancas. Located near the Bolivian border, the meteorite arrived from the north-northeast and was bright enough to be seen at 11:45 local time clear as a bell. The fireball was not seen, but the explosion from the impact was heard as windows shattered in the area. Once the meteorite hit the ground, ground water quickly filled the crater with the witnesses viewing the instantaneous boiling.

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