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Specialists with the Permanent Contingency Commission (COPECO) are now in Trojes area, in the eastern Honduran department of El Paraíso, to investigate the alleged crash of a meteorite. According to the inhabitants of that region near the border with Nicaragua, a fireball crossed the sky on Saturday night and then they heard a loud explosion. A COPECO statement clarified that no specialized agency reported a meteorite passing by the Central American region, nor has reported the loss of an aircraft. Copeco and the astronomical observatory of the National Autonomous University of Honduras said their experts in the field are investigating what happened in that region and will report as soon as possible, while they called on people not to generate speculation to avoid uncertainty.
Originally posted by Oannes
If the Mayans are correct (and they are) we should see a uptick in meteor sightings.
Due to atmospheric drag, most meteorites, ranging from a few kilograms up to about 8 tons (7,000 kg), will lose all of their cosmic velocity while still several miles up. At that point, called the retardation point, the meteorite begins to accelerate again, under the influence of the Earth’s gravity, at the familiar 9.8 meters per second squared. The meteorite then quickly reaches its terminal velocity of 200 to 400 miles per hour (90 to 180 meters per second). The terminal velocity occurs at the point where the acceleration due to gravity is exactly offset by the deceleration due to atmospheric drag.
Originally posted by Anim8tr
Note that Honduras already experienced a meteorite crash on December 15, 1996, terrifying residents and leaving a 165-foot-wide crater.
The data from the expedition are being analyzed and the results will be published. Some facts are evident:
- No meteorite impacted on Cerro Negro. The fireball passed 50 km away (see the maps) and was only projected above Cerro Negro as seen from San Luis. The feature on Cerro Negro is a huge landslide on a steep slope (45 deg) and was reportedly formed few days before the fireball passage.
- The only meteorite-impact-like event was reported from the city of El Progreso. The fall of a small stone (2cm) from the sky to the yard of a house was observed. However, this occurred on Nov 22 afternoon and the location is also not consistent with the fireball trajectory. Moreover, the material is not similar to any known type of meteorite. The stone disintegrated into a few pieces of ash in the months after the fall. The sample is currently being analyzed.
- Very bright meteor really crossed the sky over Honduras. Strong sounds were produced and a smoke trail was formed. Meteorite falls are almost certain but no meteorite was recovered yet.