Tamil Nadu: Man killed in Vellore by a meteorite, says CM Jayalalithaa
The Vellore district police have asked the help of experts from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) in Bengaluru.
A man on campus at a private engineering college in Vellore on Sunday was reportedly killed on Sunday by an explosion that is being described as a meteorite. Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa also described the object as a meteorite and announced a solatium of Rs one lakh to the family of the person killed and Rs 25,000 each to the three injured persons from the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund.
"A mishap occurred yesterday when a meteorite fell in the campus of a private engineering college in Vellore district's K Pantharappalli village...," she said in a release here. "I have ordered the Vellore district administration and hospital officials to provide them best treatment," she said.
According to The New Indian Express, an irregular-shaped object found on the college campus was examined by a team led by an expert from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The object is barely 2 cm in width and weighs about 50 grams. The explosion broke window panes of the college buses, several glass planes of the building were damaged and it also created a small crater near the building complex.
The daily reports that in order to validate this theory, the Vellore district police have asked the help of experts from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) in Bengaluru. "We have requested experts from IIA, to come to Vellore to examine the object and identify whether it is a meteorite. They have agreed to come here on Monday,” Superintendent of Police (SP) of Vellore P K Senthil Kumari told the daily.
The object is reportedly brownish-black in colour and has air bubbles on its rigid surface.The four-member team from ISRO along with the police found it behind the college canteen on Saturday at 4 pm, adds the report. The private engineering college is around 85 km from Vellore at Natrampalli. The report adds that a similar object was found at Bethaveppampattu, about 18-20 kms from here on January 26. This was also suspected to be a meteorite but no one was injured.
Experts alarmed over meteorite strike in Vellore
The chief minister also announced a solatium of Rs one lakh to the family of the deceased and Rs 25,000 to the 3 injured.
Forensic experts and bomb detection squad looking for clues at the scene in Nattrampally in Vellore where a meterorite fell with an explosion (Photo: DC)
Chennai: With the State government on Sunday confirming that the mysterious explosion in Vellore, which claimed a life and injured three others, was the result of a meteoroid strike, experts from all over the country were alarmed and expressed their concern over the inability to track these foreign objects hitting the Earth’s surface.
With the advancement of the technology like long range radars and telescopes, there has to be a way to pin down these burning objects penetrating through the atmosphere, said Dr W. Selvamurthy, former chief controller of DRDO and space enthusiast.
Dr Selvamurthy said the incidents of meteorites hitting the land seem to be on the rise. “We can’t sit tight saying meteorites can’t be tracked when people are dying. A bigger meteorite can cause serious damage. I am sure organisations like ISRO and National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) has the capability to develop a defence mechanism. NTRO has developed an anti-satellite mechanism where it can target and destroy space satellites in orbit. Why can’t we predict these objects and judge the velocity at which they are falling and where it would impact”, he said.
The most recent meteorite impact happened was at Iran on July 30, 2015 and its size could be more than two meters long and most recent impact in India was at Kerala on February 27, 2015, and its size is unknown, probably less than a meter. Nobody was harmed during both the impacts unlike Vellore impact.
Associate professor S.P. Rajaguru of Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru told Deccan Chronicle that most meteoroids that enter the earth’s atmosphere are so small that they vaporize completely and never reach the planet’s surface. “Unless we actually see the blast remains in Vellore and analyse the samples, we can’t confirm whether it’s a meteoroite or any other object like satellite junk. There are many objects moving around in the space in the form of debris. If it a meteorite, it can reveal something about early solar system period, the chemical composition of plasma etc”.
Sources in the Indian Institute of Technology, Indore said that a group of astrophysicians are working in a project to build long-range telescopes specifically to track even the small objects like meteoroids.
Mr Prabhakaran, an astrononmy educator from SPACE Technology Education Pvt. Ltd, said “I’m quite afraid about the consequences of the impact because even a 1 meter sized meteoroid releases huge amount of energy. The amount of energy released by an impact depends on the size of the impacting body and its velocity. An impact like the one that struck the Yucatan Peninsula, in Mexico about 65 million years ago, thought responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs and numerous other species, created the Chicxulub Crater, 180 km in diameter and released energy equivalent to about 100 million megatons of TNT”.
He said in order to protect the Earth from such kind of impact, monitoring the asteroids and making predictions of possible impact is necessary, but it is difficult to predict meteoroid impacts due to its small size. “We teach students about meteoroids and asteroids about its threat to our planet and we also conduct an Asteroid Search Campaign in India called All India Asteroid Search Campaign to the school students across pan India to discover asteroids”.
Quelle: Deccan Chronicle
IIA scientists to examine meteorite-like object
The Vellore police have requested scientists at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru to analyse the stone-like object, which was recovered from Bharathidasan Engineering College, Natrampalli, to ascertain if it was a meteorite.
“A small stone weighing about 10 grams was recovered from the spot. We had sent a requisition to IIA scientists asking them to come and examine the object. A team from IIA will be visiting the district on Monday to analyse it,” said P.K. Senthilkumari, Superintendent of Police, Vellore.
She said as there were doubts whether the stone was a meteorite, an analysis would establish the nature of the object.
On Saturday, one person was killed, and four others injured when the object reportedly fell on the college campus on the National Highway 48 at about 12.30 p.m. There was an explosion-like impact that left a three-four-foot deep crater on the campus.
Police personnel who recovered the stone said it was black in colour, irregular in shape and looked like “eeyam”.
The team recovered the stone at about 4 p.m. from the rear side of the college canteen. Soil samples have also been lifted for testing.
College principal G. Baskar said they heard a loud sound.
Quelle: The Hindu
Meteorite Like Object Kills Man in Vellore
This is apparently a piece of the as-yet unidentified object that fell from the sky killing a person in Vellore. | EPS
VELLORE/CHENNAI/BENGALURU: It came from the sky and killed a man on the campus of a private engineering college in Vellore district on Saturday. The irregular-shaped object recovered from the college campus by a team led by an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) expert is barely 2 cm in width, weighs about 50 grams and looks like a meteorite. Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa too described it that way.
To get the theory validated, the Vellore district police have sought the help of experts from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru. “We have requested experts from IIA, to come over to Vellore to examine the object and identify whether it is a meteorite. They have agreed to come here on Monday,” Superintendent of Police (SP) of Vellore P K Senthil Kumari told Express.
The object is brownish-black in colour and has air bubbles on its rigid surface. It was found by the police with the help of a four-member team from ISRO, led by an expert Balamurugan, behind the college canteen around 4 pm on Saturday. The college is located at Natrampalli, about 85 km from Vellore town. The spot is about 18-20 km from Bethaveppampattu, where a similar object, suspected to be a meteorite, fell on January 26. It created a perfect circle in a farmland and fortunately there was no casualty.
One school of thought suggests that it couldn’t have been a meteor because their showers were not expected till April.
Quelle: Indian Express
Indian scientists to verify Tamil Nadu meteorite death claim
The meteorite left a crater inside the campus of Bharathidasan Engineering College in Vellore
Indian scientists have been asked to verify claims that a man died after being hit by a meteorite in southern Vellore city.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram said on Sunday that Kamraj, a bus driver, died after a meteorite fell on a college campus.
Scientists said tests were needed to confirm that the rock was a meteorite.
If confirmed, experts said this would be the first such death in nearly 200 years.
According to a list prepared by the International Comet Quarterly, a man was killed in a "meteorite fall" in India in 1825.
PK Senthilkumari, chief of Vellore police, told The Hindu that a "small stone weighing about 10g was recovered from the spot" at Bharathidasan Engineering College.
Further tests were needed to confirm that the darkish rock was actually a meteorite
"We have requested scientists to come and examine the object."
Kamraj was working in the campus when the object fell and caused a loud explosion. It left a crater in the ground and blew out glass windows in the adjoining buildings.
The victim "sustained serious injuries and died while on the way to the hospital," Ms Jayaram said.
The government has announced a financial aid of 100,000 (£1,000;$1,441) for Kamraj's family.
Meteors are dust-sized particles that burn up as they plummet through Earth's atmosphere. Meteorites are larger, more durable objects that survive heating in the atmosphere and land on Earth.
NASA Says Man In India Likely Wasn't Killed By A Meteorite
Remember the story scooting around the Internet earlier this week about a man in India who was reportedly killed by a meteorite? If you need a refresher, we wrote a post about it, creatively titled, "Did A Meteorite Kill A Bus Driver In India?"
Well, it turns out the answer is probably not.
The incident happened on a college campus in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on Saturday. There was an explosion, which also injured three other people, that reportedly left a 5-foot-deep crater and a small, blackish-blue rock behind.
Local officials in India were quick to blame the blast on space debris, but NASA scientists have weighed in, saying the man was not killed by anything extraterrestrial.
"Initial assessment based on photos posted online are not consistent with something from space," NASA spokesman Dwayne Brown said in a statement, according to ABC News. "Small meteorites do not start fires or cause explosions when they hit the ground. To form a crater the size of what has been posted online would have required a meteorite of at least several kilograms. While more details are forthcoming from local scientists, this is unlikely something from space."
The chief minister of the state, J. Jayalalithaa, promised compensation for the families of the driver, identified as V. Kamaraj, and for the injured people, The Times of India reported.