Fatal meteorite

News reports such as this one, say that a meteorite hit a college campus in India and killed a bus driver. If true, it’s the first known human casualty by a rock from space.

The thing that I’m wondering about is that the thing exploded when it landed. My understanding is that smallish meteorites, when hitting Earth, generally don’t explode. The atmosphere slows them down enough that they’re not significantly different than a rock falling. It might shatter, but explode? Is my understanding wrong?

Well, the first line in the article is obviously wrong.

There are sporadic reports of fatal meteorite strikes from as far back as the 1600’s - I’d be very surprised if this is truly the first.

First reliably documented example.

Well, maybe the crash itself was mistaken for an explosion. I would imagine that witnesses, in the first moments, would automatically think “bomb!” rather than “meteorite!”

Also, there was a fatal meteorite impact in Venezuela in the 1970s… But the victim was a cow, if I am not mistaken.

At the time the object struck its fatal blow, was it correctly called a ‘meteor’ ir a ‘meteorite’? It must have still been in motion, to have done any harm, so should properly be called a meteor. Does a meteor become a meteorite when it comes to rest, or as soon as it enters and is influenced by the earth’s environment?

A meteorite small enough to not KILL EVERYONE FOR MILES will be traveling at relatively low speeds - say, less than 500 mph. The article doesn’t say that the meteorite exploded, just that it caused an explosion. That’s probably just the journalist’s understanding of the term as a synonym for “very loud noise.”

WTF is a “solatium of Rs 1 lakh”?

A compensation of 100,000 Rupees

the lakh is the Indian numeral unit for a hundred thousand (and the crore is the unit for 10 million)

“Solatium”, from the same root as consolation or solace, is a pain-and-suffering reparation

The normal definition of casualty includes injury, which means the 1954 Sylacauga meteorite qualifies.

From this National Geographic link:

I don’t see how her weight makes it any less tragic.

Your evident concern for the poor victim is moooving.

Hey dude, you saw what they said over in ATMB about concern trolling! :smiley:

“Re-enactment” of the Hodges meteorite incident done for a kid’s science program I worked on several years ago. :wink:

The news report I heard claimed it was the first fatal meteor strike in 200 years. It didn’t go into any detail, so I have no idea what the previous one was.

From Wikipedia “A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from a source, such as an asteroid or a comet, that originates in outer space and survives its impact with the Earth’s surface. It is called a meteoroid before its impact.”

From Universe Today:

Why do meteors of any size explode anyway?

Because there’s a lot of energy being converted very quickly to heat.

Okay, so this is what I got. If he was hit directly and pulverized, which he was not, then he was killed by a meteor. But, if the meteor hit the ground first, then he was killed by the explosion of the meteorite. Not trying to show off, but I copied that explanation from the NFL’s pass-catch rules.

She was talking on her cell phone at a funeral at the time.