Meteorites, Meteors

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

26 Dec , 2012 by Video

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.

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By  -        
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!



Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Aqua4U
Member
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
Guest
December 27, 2012 12:46 AM

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

Aqua4U
Member
December 27, 2012 1:15 AM

Yeah.. fur shore…

AlMoxtar
Guest
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 smile

ozonator
Guest
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.

Denver
Member
Denver
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
Member
Zoutsteen
December 27, 2012 7:19 AM

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

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
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
Guest
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
Member
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
Guest
JMF
December 27, 2012 3:10 PM
Matt Hickman
Guest
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
Member
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
Guest
December 28, 2012 7:04 PM

Perfect Joe Dirt reference.

Paul Felix Schott
Guest
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… Read more »
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