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'Meteorite' Hits Girl
BBC ^ | 8-27-2002

Posted on 08/27/2002 11:50:09 AM PDT by blam

Tuesday, 27 August, 2002, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK

'Meteorite' hits girl

Siobhan Cowton: "I saw it fall from above roof height"

The odds against being hit by a meteorite are billions to one - but a teenager in North Yorkshire may have had one land on her foot. Siobhan Cowton, 14, was getting into the family car outside her Northallerton home at 1030 BST on Thursday when a stone fell on her from the sky.

This does not happen very often in Northallerton

Siobhan Cowton

Noticing it was "quite hot", she showed it to her father Niel.

The family now plan to have the stone analysed by scientists at Durham University.

"I saw it fall from above roof height," Siobhan told BBC News Online.

"It looked very unusual, with a bubbled surface and tiny indentations like volcanic lava.

'Shiny'

"It was shiny on one side and looked rusty as if it contained iron.

"I've seen shooting stars before - but nothing like this. This does not happen very often in Northallerton."

Mr Cowton, 45, told BBC News Online he would take the stone to be analysed himself.

The stone may have come from Mars

"It is not going to leave my sight because it is a very rare find," he said.

"It is worth a lot to Siobhan.

"We will have it mounted in a glass presentation case so she can keep it for the rest of her life.

"After all it is not every day you get hit by a meteorite.

"The odds of winning the Lottery are better."

The stone could have come from Mars, according to expert on Earth impacts Dr Benny Peiser, of Liverpool John Moores University.

"It could be billions of years old and come from the earliest formation of the solar system," he told the Daily Mail newspaper.

Most meteors are between five and 60 centimetres (1.95 in and 1 ft 11.5 in) long, according to Durham University physical geography lecturer Dr Ben Horton.

"Sometimes they have shallow depressions and cavities," he said.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chondrite; girl; history; hits; meteorite
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Hmmmmm (It's always something!)
1 posted on 08/27/2002 11:50:09 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
I would buy a lotto ticket if I were her.
2 posted on 08/27/2002 11:50:54 AM PDT by Joe Hadenuf
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To: blam
Stones fall from sky: Women hit hardest.
3 posted on 08/27/2002 11:52:04 AM PDT by js1138
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To: blam
Hmmm...
4 posted on 08/27/2002 11:53:10 AM PDT by Junior
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To: blam
My only problem with this is why is she not in the hospital. As meteorites are traveling at great speed. It should have blown her foot away....In my opinion....
5 posted on 08/27/2002 11:53:29 AM PDT by Joe Hadenuf
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To: blam

6 posted on 08/27/2002 11:54:27 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: Joe Hadenuf
...and bit quite a bit hotter than she described it , too.
7 posted on 08/27/2002 11:54:47 AM PDT by Skibane
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To: aBootes
fyi
8 posted on 08/27/2002 11:55:37 AM PDT by KC Burke
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To: blam
Two things - "We will have it mounted in a glass presentation case so she can keep it for the rest of her life

Not likely, if true that chunk of ferous will be in a museum somewhere probably and they'll pocket a check.

If it IS a meteor, shouldn't it have past through her foot on it's way to making a crater about 2 feet across?

9 posted on 08/27/2002 11:55:51 AM PDT by MassExodus
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To: Joe Hadenuf
She's lucky it is small. If it were the size of a brick it would have broken bones.
10 posted on 08/27/2002 11:56:02 AM PDT by RightWhale
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To: Joe Hadenuf
My thoughts, 90 seconds later ....
11 posted on 08/27/2002 11:57:22 AM PDT by MassExodus
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To: blam
Maybe I missed something here, but has anybody seen the move Armageden or simply seen what a penny can do to something dropped from a great height. I mean if it hit her foot it would go right through, wouldn't it. Somethings a little fishy about this.
12 posted on 08/27/2002 11:58:08 AM PDT by HELLRAISER II
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To: RightWhale
That should have put a hole in her foot the size of a 357 exit wound....
13 posted on 08/27/2002 11:58:16 AM PDT by Joe Hadenuf
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To: blam
bump
14 posted on 08/27/2002 11:58:47 AM PDT by Centurion2000
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To: RightWhale
I wonder if this may have 'fallen off' the asteroid that just flew by earth. Can we expect more?
15 posted on 08/27/2002 11:59:16 AM PDT by blam
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To: Joe Hadenuf; Skibane
Y'all might want to google on (meteorite hit person). It's happened before, and both the impact velocity and the surface temperature of the objects is much less than you seem to expect.
16 posted on 08/27/2002 11:59:36 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard
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To: MassExodus
Maybe she was wearing her steel toe pumps.
17 posted on 08/27/2002 12:00:01 PM PDT by Fred Mertz
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To: RightWhale; HELLRAISER II
See #16
18 posted on 08/27/2002 12:01:10 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard
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To: blam
The stone could have come from Mars, according to expert on Earth impacts Dr Benny Peiser, of Liverpool John Moores University.

...and it could have come from any number of other places, too. What gives with that inference?

19 posted on 08/27/2002 12:01:28 PM PDT by dubyagee
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To: blam
Good point. The asteroid was possibly not a solitary body, but part of a swarm like burned-out comets.
20 posted on 08/27/2002 12:01:43 PM PDT by RightWhale
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To: MassExodus; Joe Hadenuf
It wouldn't necessarily have caused physical harm. I've seen woodcuts from the nineteenth century showing meteor showers where the meteors were raining onto the ground, with people standing around marveling - and according to the sources I've read, these are accurate depictions, not some artist's tortured imagination.

If the rock's small enough, the atmosphere would have slowed it down, and then cooled it down, enough so that at worst it would have stung her a bit, depending on what kind of shoe she had on.

21 posted on 08/27/2002 12:01:46 PM PDT by inquest
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To: Joe Hadenuf
Re: #5

Thank you...exactly what I was thinking

22 posted on 08/27/2002 12:04:09 PM PDT by Michael Barnes
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To: Joe Hadenuf
Seriously, small meteorites slow to terminal velocity before reaching the ground. Certainly subsonic, maybe under 300 mph. Way slower than pistol shots.
23 posted on 08/27/2002 12:04:36 PM PDT by RightWhale
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To: blam

" More likely its something flushed from a passing British Air flight" said younger brother Eric.


24 posted on 08/27/2002 12:05:22 PM PDT by DainBramage
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To: blam
Its more likely to be bad airline food.
25 posted on 08/27/2002 12:07:19 PM PDT by hang 'em
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To: inquest
Meteorite impact in Peekskill, NY(?):


26 posted on 08/27/2002 12:08:20 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard
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To: js1138
What did George Bush know and when did he know it?
27 posted on 08/27/2002 12:09:04 PM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: inquest
"If the rock's small enough, the atmosphere would have slowed it down, and then cooled it down, enough so that at worst it would have stung her a bit, depending on what kind of shoe she had on."

Yup. There was a meteorite (I think in the 50's) that crashed through a woman's roof in Alabama and bruised her (pretty good) on the leg. (I think it was about the size of a fist). "Stars Fell On Alabama" (BTY, That replaced 'Heart Of Dixie' on our tags) Dixie is a bad word now.

28 posted on 08/27/2002 12:09:36 PM PDT by blam
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To: RightWhale
Certainly subsonic, maybe under 300 mph. Way slower than pistol shots.

Still .... I can hurl a small stone at @ 70 mph.

In all the rock fights I had as a kid, they hurt !

Now, at four TIMES that speed ? - OW !

LOL

29 posted on 08/27/2002 12:09:43 PM PDT by MassExodus
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To: js1138; blam
Children and Poor Next Targets for Right-Wing Stonings.
30 posted on 08/27/2002 12:11:42 PM PDT by HeadOn
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To: MassExodus
Maybe not even 300 mph. If it were falling flat rather than pointed end first, it would be much slower than 300 mph. She says she saw it before it hit, which indicates a relatively slow speed. Still, if it hit thin skin over bone, it would sting, maybe even bruise.
31 posted on 08/27/2002 12:14:05 PM PDT by RightWhale
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To: blam
Bellis is approaching!!! 10 days until Bellis!!!
32 posted on 08/27/2002 12:17:44 PM PDT by shadowman99
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To: blam
"Sometimes they have shallow depressions and cavities," he said.

You mean like these?
33 posted on 08/27/2002 12:17:49 PM PDT by varon
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To: MassExodus
You bring back funny-now but not-so-funny-then memories of getting hit above the eye in one of those rock fights we used to have as kids. I also caught a spear (bamboo) in the exact same spot. I got to know the hospital pretty well. LOL
34 posted on 08/27/2002 12:18:57 PM PDT by Ben Chad
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To: blam
I wonder if this may have 'fallen off' the asteroid that just flew by earth. Can we expect more?

The Earth picks up about 100 tons of dust/debris from space each day, so this is not a big deal. The girl happened to be lucky that day.

35 posted on 08/27/2002 12:19:08 PM PDT by Black Powder
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To: blam
Wait a minute, I thought a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building would go through a taxicab roof. Wonder if that "meteorite" has the fingerprints on it of the neighborhood rock-thrower?
36 posted on 08/27/2002 12:21:31 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: RightWhale; MassExodus
Plus, the thing looks pretty porous and light (and small, for that matter), which would have both increased wind resistance and decreased whatever punch it had.
37 posted on 08/27/2002 12:21:54 PM PDT by inquest
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To: HELLRAISER II
I remember doing a calculation while in High School of the speed of a penny if dropped from the top of the Empire State building. We were given a coefficient that was plugged into the formula that was supposed to take into account the spinning of the penny and the drag that would occur as a result. Terminal velocity ended up being about 22mph if I remember correctly - hardly what you'd think it'd be.

I imagine the same could hold true for a space rock like this.

38 posted on 08/27/2002 12:24:59 PM PDT by Textide
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To: blam
Yup. There was a meteorite (I think in the 50's) that crashed through a woman's roof in Alabama and bruised her (pretty good) on the leg.

The key word here is roof. The roof probably absorbed much of the energy, otherwise, she very possibly could have been killed......

Again, it's my opinion that this young lady should of had serious injuries to her foot. If this is legitimate, she is a very lucky youngster..... Even at 300 mph, meteorites are generally heavy with iron content......This should have done major injury to her foot....

39 posted on 08/27/2002 12:25:07 PM PDT by Joe Hadenuf
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To: HELLRAISER II; Joe Hadenuf; MassExodus; Skibane
Haven't any of you guys ever heard of terminal velocity?
40 posted on 08/27/2002 12:28:53 PM PDT by Sloth
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To: RightWhale
She says she saw it before it hit, which indicates a relatively slow speed. Still, if it hit thin skin over bone, it would sting, maybe even bruise.

Hehehe. I guess I am just suspicious by nature.

She saw it coming? Was it daylight out? An Iron meteor? Iron is heavy. Meteors are heavy, aren't they? No injury? Lucky young lady...That was a nice size meteor.....

41 posted on 08/27/2002 12:29:39 PM PDT by Joe Hadenuf
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To: blam
Did you see that picture of her? I think it made her go bald.
42 posted on 08/27/2002 12:29:50 PM PDT by Contra
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To: Joe Hadenuf
meteorites are generally heavy with iron content.

The object she is pictured holding does not look metallic. Stony meteorites ("carbonaceous chondrites") are much less dense.

43 posted on 08/27/2002 12:30:10 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard
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To: Ben Chad
I got to know the hospital pretty well.

No kidding, the last time I was standing at the E.R. reception desk ( bleeding ) my hospital record just scrolled along like one of these F.R. "Love you man" threads.

44 posted on 08/27/2002 12:30:40 PM PDT by MassExodus
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To: ArrogantBustard
Small pieces would slow to terminal velocity after being in the earths atmosphere for a short period of time. Big pieces would overcome air resistance due to their mass and carry their enertia all the way down.
45 posted on 08/27/2002 12:31:08 PM PDT by KSCITYBOY
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To: unix
I once read of an old woman who was hit by a space rock and it didn't hurt her too badly. I think it was a few inches in length. It has been a while since I read about it but I've seen the story from several sources. Anyway, it had to go through her roof first so it was no doubt slowed considerably.
46 posted on 08/27/2002 12:36:08 PM PDT by baseballfanjm
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To: Sloth; HELLRAISER II; Joe Hadenuf; MassExodus; Skibane
Sloth is right - a stone that small would NOT achieve amazing velocities, much less impressive velocities. The penny going through a taxi roof or making a hole in the street if dropped from a tall building is an urban legend and completely false. I would surmise that if the stone were solid nickel or iron it would hurt or damage her foot pretty badly, but if made of less dense material it would not.
47 posted on 08/27/2002 12:36:44 PM PDT by Shryke
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To: KSCITYBOY
Small pieces would slow to terminal velocity

The piece in question, I think, qualifies as small. It is also irregularly shaped, and has a very rough surface. These two features would tend to give it a fairly low ballistic coefficient; and a fairly low terminal velocity. If it's also more stony than metallic, its lower density would also tend to reduce its terminal velocity.

AB

48 posted on 08/27/2002 12:37:52 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard
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To: MassExodus
If it IS a meteor, shouldn't it have past through her foot on it's way to making a crater about 2 feet across?

Thank you!

I keep thinking about the scene at the beginning of Armageddon where the guy's dog gets wiped out in Manhattan...

49 posted on 08/27/2002 12:38:16 PM PDT by mhking
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To: mhking
LOL, someday I will learn to automatically ignore anyone who cites something from the laughable Armageddon in a thread on science.
50 posted on 08/27/2002 12:42:07 PM PDT by Sloth
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