Impact in Latvia Creates 20-Meter Crater

Latvia crater. Credit: Delfi

A possible meteorite fall near in northern Latvia on Sunday left a crater approximately 20 meters (66 feet) in diameter and 10 meters (33 feet) deep. UPDATE: Many reports now say the impact was a fake; The Bad Astronomer says “shovel” marks were found around the perimeter of the crater; additionally, a burning impactor is highly unlikely (see video below). And here’s an article from the Associated press. , and another from Yahoo news, where a phone company in Latvia admits the “crater” was a publicity stunt.

Our earlier report:
No one was injured, as the impact occurred outside the small town of Mazsalaca, although houses were nearby. Early reports said it was not clear whether it was an asteroid or a space satellite, but later news indicated it was a meteorite strike. Another account said it might be a hoax, as a cover-up of illegal weapons tests. One report said a witness saw the object falling through the sky, leaving a burning trail behind, and said it was making a noise similar to the one of an aircraft flying at a low altitude. See a video of the crater below.

A spokesperson for the Latvian State Fire and Rescue Service said that rescuers and soldiers immediately cordoned off the territory, as they wanted to guard against any radioactive contamination if it was a satellite.

See this link for more images of the crater.

We’ll post more news about the crater as it becomes available.

Sources: RiaNovosti, ITAR-TASS

Hat tip to @cosmos4U on Twitter