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Is This Icy “Mega” Meteorite Really From Outer Space?

Earlier today, Euronews reported an icy “mega meteorite” fall in a farmer’s field in the Hrira region of Morocco. The farmer found the chunk of supposed space ice and put it in his freezer for later investigation by scientists, who apparently confirmed that it is in fact from space.

But… really?


I’m not sure what establishes a meteorite to be “mega” but this is what it’s being called. Personally I’d think that a really mega meteorite would leave a much larger crater than half a meter across and wouldn’t be made of ice, but that’s just this author’s opinion.

In addition, the meteorite reporting site lunarmeteoritehunters.com has posted the story with a “fact or fiction” heading, and includes original news video with additional footage, which shows footage of the “crater” (that seems very un-crater-like) as well as statements from the researchers.

According to Google Translate, expert Dr. Abdul Rahman Said Abhi denies that the chunk of ice is extraterrestrial in origin, and instead was formed in the atmosphere.

Called “megacryometeors”, these ice balls can grow quite large and fall from seemingly clear skies. But don’t let the name fool you — they are most decidedly Earthly. Basically they are just super-sized hailstones (and can sometimes even come from aircraft!)

So remember — just because something falls from the sky doesn’t make it a meteorite… much less a “mega” one.

Source: Euronews.com HT to lunarmeteoritehunters.com.

About 

A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Aqua4U December 27, 2012, 12:32 AM

    Would that it WERE a meteorite fragment… then it would be a REAL bummer it was handled without sterile gloves or otherwise isolated and was therefore contaminated. It looks instead like simple piece ice anyway… Jet POO!

    • Jonathan Shock December 27, 2012, 12:46 AM

      I would imagine that falling in a field would contaminate it a fair amount too.

      • Aqua4U December 27, 2012, 1:15 AM

        Yeah.. fur shore…

  • AlMoxtar December 27, 2012, 2:31 AM

    Indeed. On the Moroccan Tv footage, the university professor stressed that such 25kg ice balls falling from the sky was a rare incident, that it wasn’t a meteorite, and that there was no law governing its ownership. The Pr. in the article had a couple more precisions about megacryometeors. For once our journalists weren’t the ones to make fools of themselves :)

  • ozonator December 27, 2012, 6:55 AM

    It looks like PBS’ NOVA science show has a new topic to be funded by David Koch to avoid AGW.

    • Shootist December 27, 2012, 1:42 PM

      When there have been dairy farms in Greenland for 250 years, and 500 years of uninterrupted wine grape cultivation in Scotland, let me know (the planet would have finally warmed up to what it was one to two thousand years ago).

  • Zoutsteen from Holland December 27, 2012, 7:19 AM

    its winter, lets throw mega meteors at each other.
    Happy Holidays!

  • Torbjörn Larsson December 27, 2012, 8:34 AM

    Obviously Santa dumped a present from his sled. One less mystery why he manages to visit so many: inboard facilities.

    [Even considering loose soil and the need for digging, I think the presumed crater was “embellished”. Perhaps they were honest about the ices’ origins, but were afraid they wouldn’t be taken seriously.]

  • Bob December 27, 2012, 5:13 PM

    “Mega” is most likely used as most meteors (smaller ones) disintegrate upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere. This one was big enough to survive.

  • Skipdallas December 27, 2012, 5:39 PM

    Even stony, and metallic meteorites usually vaporize on descent through the atmosphere, and fail to make it to the ground, unless they are very large. I find it hard to believe that a chunk of ice would survive a plunge to the surface. I agree that this item is almost certainly terrestrial in origin.

  • JMF December 27, 2012, 3:10 PM
  • Matt Hickman December 27, 2012, 8:57 PM

    The root word meteor comes from the Greek mete?ros,meaning “high in the air”. Ergo ‘meteorite’ is correct, although an uncommon usage of the term.

  • Dav_Daddy December 28, 2012, 2:57 AM

    Is it even possible for a meteorite made of ice to survive reentry? Or I guess that would just be entry in this case?

    Anyway that thing was what about 2 feet (2/3 of a meter) in diameter roughly? How big would it have to have been in the beginning given the most favorable approach angle and velocity entering the atmosphere? (Also assuming it is made up entirely of water ice.)

  • Slacker R December 28, 2012, 7:04 PM

    Perfect Joe Dirt reference.

  • Paul Felix Schott January 3, 2013, 10:24 PM

    ALL THAT EVER LIVED ON EARTH WILL SOON HAVE
    THEIR EYES TO THE HEAVENS

    Do a little History on this one.

    ALL
    Should Look Up “2012 DA14″.

    This could take out one of more satellites
    and the junk and debris from the hit could end up taking out many more
    satellites very soon after that. All the satellite collision probability will go
    way up if even one is hit. The velocity that the parts would go to would make
    them missiles that would start targeting a chain reaction this would not be
    good.

    Most all will be watching this one and pray it goes by us without a
    hit. Every Scientist alive will be watching this event. Many will be in Florida
    for a very special viewing of the once in a Lifetime Event. Professors,
    Scientist, World Leaders, Ham Radio Operators and Every Astronomer will have its
    eyes on This Event, along with almost every TV set on Earth.

    “2012
    DA14″ goes by Earth twice a year and there is no way anyone for sure, can tell
    how close the second pass will be till it passes by the Moon and Earth and the
    GRAVITATIONAL FORCE effect that it will have on this Asteroid.

    They may
    come close but this one is already coming very close to begin with. Too close
    this time or on its second or 3rd pass? Ad a Meteor Shower like the 13 and 14 of
    December of this year, it might go through or bump into one of them? Or all the
    other orbital debris like Spent Rocket Boosters left in space that can no longer
    be moved by a control center on Earth.

    If a big enough one were to slam
    into the moon in the night sky you would think the sun was coming up early only
    it would be 5 to 7 times as bright. From The Sun’s Rays Reflection on all the
    Debris Field.

    2012 XM16, 2012 XM55, 2012 XP55, THERE ARE OVER 25 found
    just this year 2012 that are part of the Near Earth Object Program that will
    come close to Earth from now till 2012 DA14 comes.

    You do not want to
    know how many are on the “PLANETARY DEFENSE” list.
    The PLANETARY DEFENSE is
    not to protect Earth from men from Mars.
    It is for all mankind with most all
    Nation in on it to stop if can most all collision with EARTH from a ASTEROID
    IMPACT. It is if you will a AVOIDANCE SHIELD. “N.E.O.S. Near Earth Object
    Shield”.

    If only one were to hit or IMPACT EARTH on land get ready for a
    winter you will never forget. The winter from 1883 -1884 KRAKATOA you will think
    was a little pebble, and now the stone comes.

    A Shock Wave was felt in England from a Event
    about 7:15 to 7:20 A.M. Siberia time in the morning in June of the year 1908
    high in the sky above the Forest in the remote wilderness of Tunguska Siberia
    heard an explosion that laid flat more than 800 square miles of the forest with
    all the trees pointing away from the center of the blast with most all the trees
    laying on their side. Some trees that were right below the blast were still
    there looking like telephone poles with no bark or branches left on them.
    This Asteroid did not even hit the Ground and this is known by most as
    the TUNGUSKA EVENT. For all that lived there it was
    WORMWOOD Rev 8:11 the wood became full of worms and the rivers
    water no longer sweet and undrinkable.

    If a Meteor Shower is big enough
    you might think all the stars are falling from Heaven.

    About one every 100 years makes it into the
    Earth’s Atmosphere big enough for all to take note. Some make it
    to the surface the signs are all over the Planet and moon from the ones that
    have.

    Better to be safe then sorry.

    GET READY

    Read your Bible
    While
    you still can,
    and May our Lord GOD Bless all that do so.
    John 14 :
    6
    Luke 13 : 27
    Matthew 7 : 20 – 27

    The Lord’s Little
    Helper.
    Paul Felix Schott.

    P.S.
    Help others in are Lord’s name
    Jesus Christ help bring all to know him while you still can.

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