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14-year-old hit by 30,000 mph space meteorite

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avatar 14-year-old hit by 30,000 mph space meteorite
June 12, 2009 06:05PM
Gerrit Blank, 14, was on his way to school when he saw "ball of light" heading straight towards him from the sky. A red hot, pea-sized piece of rock then hit his hand before bouncing off and causing a foot wide crater in the ground.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/science/space/5511619/14-year-old-hit-by-30000-mph-space-meteorite.html

(At least it wasn't a toilet seat!)
avatar Re: 14-year-old hit by 30,000 mph space meteorite
June 12, 2009 06:26PM
Great news story!

But how do they come up with stuff like:
"The teenager survived the strike, the chances of which are just 1 in a million - but with a nasty three-inch long scar on his hand."

Is it 1 in a million to survive a hit by meteor? Is it 1 in a million to be hit by a meteor? Is it 1 in a million for a teenager to survive a meteor strike? Just how many meteor-human strikes are recorded each year?

I suspect that the meteor did not actually contact the boys hand. If it had been a direct hit, the hand would be gone. That is more kinetic energy than from a large caliber or high velocity rifle.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2009 06:31PM by Frank Furter.
avatar Re: 14-year-old hit by 30,000 mph space meteorite
June 12, 2009 06:34PM
With Fox News setting the "standard" what can you expect anymore.
avatar Re: 14-year-old hit by 30,000 mph space meteorite
June 12, 2009 06:39PM
I think the 30KMPH is in space. After those things hit the atmosphere they slow down to terminal velocity pretty quickly. It was probably doning no more than, oh say, 15KMPH.



Old Dude
avatar Re: 14-year-old hit by 30,000 mph space meteorite
June 12, 2009 06:57PM
Quote
mrcondron
I think the 30KMPH is in space. After those things hit the atmosphere they slow down to terminal velocity pretty quickly. It was probably doning no more than, oh say, 15KMPH.

I was trying to do some quick numbers:
a marble weighs about 20 grams (about 300 grains), the weight of large bullet like around 44 or 45 caliber. Typical bullet velocity is in range 1000-2000 m/sec for high velocity weapons. If the meteor was travelling 15,000 MPH this is equal to about 6,000 meters/sec. The amount of injury would depend on the energy transfer which would be represented by slowing of the meteor. If the meteor slowed by 1/2 after the hit, it would have transfered the effective energy of a fully "stopped" high velocity large caliber rifle.

Vince: check my math on this.


additional information at

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/06/boy-survives-being-struck-by-a-meteorite/
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/06/12/a-boy-claims-he-was-hit-by-a-meteorite/



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan




Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2009 08:12PM by Frank Furter.
avatar Re: 14-year-old hit by 30,000 mph space meteorite
June 12, 2009 08:54PM
For that matter what's a "space meteorite"? Do they have other kinds of meteorites?

sleeping cat
avatar Re: 14-year-old hit by 30,000 mph space meteorite
June 12, 2009 09:05PM
Some people need the identifier otherwise they wouldn't get it. Whut? A whut? Oh, one o' those space thangs.



Old Dude
avatar Re: 14-year-old hit by 30,000 mph space meteorite
June 12, 2009 09:07PM
Quote
mrcondron
Some people need the identifier otherwise they wouldn't get it. Whut? A whut? Oh, one o' those space thangs.

That reminds me of a guy at the planetarium I worked at. He was building a "meteorite" projector. He told him the audience would not appreciate having rocks thrown at them and he should do a meteor projector instead.
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