June 12, 2009

Boy Hit By Meteorite Travelling At 30,000mph

Filed under: Asteroids, Exoplanets, Wierd — bferrari @ 9:51 pm

10:22am UK, Friday June 12, 2009

A teenager was hit by a meteorite travelling at 30,000mph – and lived to tell the tale.

The meteorite struck Gerrit on the hand, and buried itself in the road

The meteorite struck Gerrit on the hand, and buried itself in the road

Gerrit Blank was on his way to school when he saw a massive fireball heading straight towards him from the sky.

The white-hot meteorite bounced off the schoolboy’s hand and hit the ground so hard it left a foot-long crater in the tarmac – as well as a three-inch scar on his hand.

Gerrit, 14, said: “At first I just saw a large ball of light and then I suddenly felt a pain in my hand.

“Then, a split second after that, there was an enormous bang like a crash of thunder.”

“The noise that came after the flash of light was so loud that my ears were ringing for hours afterwards.

“When it hit me it knocked me flying and then was still going fast enough to bury itself in the road.”

Scientists are now studying the pea-sized meteorite, which crashed to Earth in Essen in Germany.

Chemical tests on the rock have now proved it is from outer space.

Ansgar Korte, director of Germany’s Walter Hohmann Observatory, said: “It’s a real meteorite, therefore it is very valuable to collectors and scientists.”

Chances of being struck by a meteorite are around one in 100 million.

Mr Korte said: “Most meteorites don’t actually make it to ground level because they evaporate in the atmosphere.

“Of those that do get through, about six out of every seven of them land in water.”

There is only one other known case of a human being surviving a direct hit from a meteor.

A grapefruit-sized meteor crashed through the roof of a house in Alabama, in the USA, in 1954.

After smashing through the top of the building, it bounced off furniture and then hit a woman who was asleep at the time.



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