Monday, 8 September 2014
Meteorite from Asteroid 2014 RC Impacts Earth, Crater and Loud Boom Caus...
A mysterious explosion that rocked Nicaragua on Saturday night, creating a 39ft-wide (12 metre) crater, appears to have been caused by a small meteorite.
And authorities in the region believe the meteorite was caused by a shard of rock from the 2014 RC ‘pitbull’ asteroid that soared past Earth over the weekend.
The impact, close to the country’s international airport, did not cause any known injuries, but the hit was powerful enough to be felt throughout the capital, according to reports.
Tests are now being carried out on the crater to learn more about how it was formed.
‘We are convinced that this was a meteorite. We have seen the crater from the impact,’ said Wilfredo Strauss of the Seismic Institute.
THE 'PITBULL' 2014 RC ASTEROID
Nasa estimates the 2014 RC asteroid to be approximately 65ft (20 metres) wide - roughly the same size as a large house.
This makes it similar in size to the Chelyabinsk meteorite that exploded over Russia’s Ural Mountains region in February 2013.
At the time of closest approach, asteroid 2014 RC was said to be one-tenth the distance from the centre of Earth to the moon - or about 25,000 miles (40,000km).
The asteroid was reported as passing closest to earth at approximately 7.18pm BST (2.18pm EST), as it travelled over New Zealand.
It did not hit Earth, but its orbit will bring it back to our planet's neighbourhood in the future.
The asteroid's future motion will be closely monitored, but no future threatening Earth encounters have been identified, according to Nasa.
The Nicaraguan authorities continued that the timing of the impact fits closely with the passing of the asteroid, which passed very close to Earth on Sunday.
A meteorite was also spotted flying over Spain on Sunday evening, and astrophysicists are trying to determine if the two events are related.
Before the event, Nasa estimated the asteroid to be approximately 65ft (20 metres) big - roughly the same size as a house.