Doubts cast over Nicaragua meteorite claim

2014-09-08 22:51:46 | Al Muslim News
Doubts cast over Nicaragua meteorite claim

 

Experts have raised doubts about whether a loud boom and a gaping crater found in Nicaragua's crowded capital Managua this weekend were caused by a meteorite, as the government has said. The impact near the international airport did not cause any known injuries, but it did leave a crater measuring 12 metres across and was felt throughout the capital. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Monday said that while a meteorite cannot be ruled out, the lack so far of any eyewitness accounts of a fireball lighting up the nighttime sky outside Managua on Saturday suggests something else was likely behind the event. Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, estimated that the crater would have been created by a blast of roughly the energy equivalent of 1 ton of TNT. NASA said in a statement that a meteor capable of that would have created a ball of flame visible over a wide area. About 1.5 million people live in the Nicaraguan capital. "For something to produce a hole in the ground that big, it would have generated a very bright fireball. And nothing was reported ... despite the population," Cooke said. "So I'm very sceptical." Nicaraguan authorities believe it was a piece of the small asteroid dubbed "2014 RC," which passed very close to Earth and was estimated by astronomers to be about 20 meters big, or the size of a house. 'Fascinating event' Government officials and experts visited the impact site on Sunday. One of them, William Martinez, said it was not yet clear if the meteorite burned up completely or if it had been blasted into the soil. "You can see mirror-like spots on the sides of the crater from where the meteorite power-scraped the walls," Martinez said. Government spokeswoman, First Lady Rosario Murillo, said Nicaraguan authorities would be in contact with the US Geological Service to try to get more information about "this fascinating event" in the Central American nation, one of Latin America's poorest countries. People who live near the crater told local media they heard a blast they took for an explosion, and that liquid, sand and dust were blown through the air, which smelled like something had burned. There were no reported injuries because the impact was in a wooded spot, and flights at the airport were not affected..

Tags: #

Latest News

What to Next

Turkey, Iran, Iraq concerned over Kurdish referendum

ANKARA: Turkey, Iran and Iraq have agreed to consider counter-measures against Kurdish northern Iraq over a planned independence referendum, Turkey&rs... More

Three civilians killed in held Kashmir claim police

SRINAGAR: Authorities in India-held Kashmir claimed that suspected militants hurled a grenade at motorcade of a local government minister on Thursday,... More

Trump budget opens new fight among Republicans

WASHINGTON: Republican U.S. Representative Todd Rokita keeps a clock hanging on the wall of his Capitol Hill office that tracks the U.S. government... More

15 dead as migrant boat sinks off Turkey Black Sea coast

Fifteen people drowned and up to 15 more were missing on Friday after a fishing boat carrying migrants sunk off Turkey's Black Sea coast, the coas... More

Iran s Rouhani vows to strengthen missiles despite US warnings

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Friday that Iran would boost its missile capabilities despite warnings from Washington that it is ready t... More

Fresh fires bomb blast in Myanmars Rakhine

Twenty homes caught fire and a bomb was detonated near a mosque in Myanmar's Rakhine state, the government said on Friday, the latest unrest in a ... More

Pakistan tells UN wont be scapegoat in Afghan war

Pakistan refuses to be a “scapegoat” for Afghanistan's bloodshed or to fight wars for others, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told... More

Kashmiris protest atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

Dozens of activists staged a demonstration in the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Tuesday to condemn the alleged violence and discriminatio... More

Haj success opens way for talks with Saudi: Iran

Iran thanked Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for its handling of the Haj operations, saying it opened the way for negotiations between the regional rivals. ... More

North Korea nuclear test more powerful than estimated: Japan

Japan's defence minister on Tuesday said North Korea's latest nuclear test was more powerful than initially estimated, with a yield that was a... More

84