Did a meteorite really kill a man?

It has happened only once in the last 200 years.

A meteorite from asteroid 2008 TC3

The last person to die in a meteorite impact was in 1825. The latest news however points at an anomaly which happened in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
The incident supposedly happened in the city of Vellore where a meteorite hit a college bus driver and as he was taken to the hospital, he succumbed to his injury.Officials from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics are on site currently to explore the event site for possible clues and to do an in depth analysis of their findings. results are currently awaited.

Along with the Bus driver, two more individuals were injured were taken to the hospital and are lucky to survive. A peace of rock was recovered from the impact site, which is believed to be the cause of the event.

Recovered meteorite from the impact site

Recovered meteorite from the impact site

Indian scientists collect data from the site

Indian scientists collect data from the site

Meteor strikes are really rare and your chance of winning the lottery are more than being in an incident where you see an actual meteorite fall on the ground, let alone it hitting you. There have been several instances in the recent past where these space rocks have caused damage to property like the Chelyabinsk meteor explosion on the 15th of February 2013. There were no fatalities, but a total of 1491 people were injured as per reports. Along with this about 7200 buildings sustained minor to heavy damage as the meteor exploded in mid air and caused a sporadic spray of tiny meteorites which cause even more damage. Just a like a carpet bomb.

Meteor strikes are really rare and your chance of winning the lottery are more than being in an incident where you see an actual meteorite fall on the ground, let alone it hitting you. There have been several instances in the recent past where these space rocks have caused damage to property like the Chelyabinsk meteor explosion on the 15th of February 2013. There were no fatalities, but a total of 1491 people were injured as per reports. Along with this about 7200 buildings sustained minor to heavy damage as the meteor exploded in mid air and caused a sporadic spray of tiny meteorites which cause even more damage. Just a like a carpet bomb.

Russia not new to such events. the surface area of the country is so large that it spreads over 11 time zones, that’s almost half of the world longitudes.

Back in 1908, the famous Tunguska event took place where the trees in a forest the size of a state were flattened like matchsticks. This meteor also crashed in mid air, causing the widespread damage. The area was inhabited by only a handful of people of the Tungus tribe and no fatalities were reported. The amount of damage was so extensive though that years worth of timber was just lying around in the snow with no one to take care of it.

This brings us to a very important question. Why are meteorites so destructive???

Meteors are small and large pieces of space debris which are the left over stuff from the formation of our solar system or the aftermath of celestial body collisions. Some of them get into the gravitational field of the earth and become Kamikaze.
As they approach Earth, their speed increases due to their proximity to the earth and they’ve been found to travel at speeds ranging from 30,000 km/h to 60,000 km/h and sometimes even higher.

On entering the atmosphere of the Earth, the molecules and atoms in the atmosphere hit the debris at a very high speed and due to the immense friction caused, they heat up and start burning. Most rocks are not big enough to survive the ordeal, but the ones which do, hit the earth with a massive force. This force is however totally dependant on the mass of the surviving meteorite.

Nature keeps reminding us of its awesome power every now and then. In the year 1994, a comet named Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into Jupiter. This event was so large that the impact area exceeded the size of the earth. Here is a video which explains more about the event.

65 millions years ago the dinosaurs were the last victims. They just dint have a good enough escape strategy. Do we have one in place ???

Asteroids, Comets and other small pieces of space debris keep on hitting the earth every now and then there is enough proof on the earth that time and again, these visitors from space keep on reminding us of the sheer power which nature possesses. Throughout the world there are numerous sites which are scars from a violent past of the history of the Earth.

The only validated meteor impact crater in India is Lonar Crater which has a saline soda lake. It is located at Lonar in Buldhana district, Maharashtra, India and was created by a meteor impact during the Pleistocene Epoch. It is the only hyper velocity impact crater in basaltic rock anywhere on earth.

It has a mean diameter of 1.2 km and has been of particular interest among geologists, ecologists, archaeologists, naturalists and astronomers who have published several papers on the ecology of the area.

At the Lonar Crater Lake

At the Lonar Crater Lake

Rishabh Jain

I am an Amateur Astronomer with keen interest in Astrophotography and Visual observations.I have experience in science communication and secondary school education in Astronomy. I have reached over 25,000 students which doing the same. I target making education reachable to the masses through the understanding of social and anthropological structures. My interests include long distance travelling, enjoying music and writing poetry.

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