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Possible witnessed meteorite fall in NC

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#1 Scott in NC

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 06:41 PM

I'm hoping that some of you who are more knowledgeable than me about such things can comment on this.

 

Last weekend my wife and a friend were driving home late at night and noticed a small glowing object arcing in a north-to-south trajectory across a road about a mile from our house.  Just before it reached ground level it became dark, and they couldn't see where it landed.  My wife called our neighbor and asked him to be on the lookout for any unusual looking rocks in his yard.  Today he called us to say that the person who mows his yard found a small hole in the backyard surrounded by what looked like charred dirt.  He invited us over to take a look.  No rock was visible, but there was a hole about 3 inches wide and about 2 inches deep.  The hole was filled with and surrounded by what looked like charred, compressed dirt.  I didn't have a shovel, nor did I want to dig up my neighbor's yard without his permission, but I dug my fingers down into the hole and couldn't feel anything as solid as a rock.

 

So could this really have been a meteorite?  I don't really have any other plausible explanation at the moment for our findings.  And if it really was a meteorite, is it likely that it completely burned up and disintegrated upon impact, or could it be buried several inches to feet deep within the dirt?

 

Here's a picture of the impact site:

 

IMG_7505.JPG

 

IMG_7507.JPG



#2 woodbuck

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 06:51 PM

I'm no expert, but to me that looks like where a skunk was looking for grubs, that is if the grass was pressed down in a circle when you found it.


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#3 goodricke1

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 08:02 PM

It's almost impossible that you would have seen the glow from the meteorite and also the landing site. Generally a meteorite will continue in dark flight for dozens of miles, significantly after the cessation of the light show caused by contact with the atmosphere.


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#4 Migwan

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 08:11 PM

Agree with might be a skunk.  Had it been a meteor that caused the hole, you would like find something.  Also, meteors rarely land as close to you as it may appear.   jd


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#5 TOMDEY

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 08:48 PM

I'm thinking a skunk. We have them here and I keep my distance. They leave little dug-up divots that look a lot like that. They will often visit the same little area for days (actually evenings and nights) on end. Sometimes a meteor can appear to be just up the road, yet be a county or state over! All that said... occasionally, rarely, a visible sighting results in recovery.  Tom


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#6 Scott in NC

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Posted 06 October 2018 - 07:55 AM

Thanks for everyone's advice.  When my wife told me the story of her potential sighting last week I was excited, but really thought that it was too good to be true.



#7 Dartguy

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 08:44 AM

I thought that meteorites were at air temperature by the time they reach the ground.  Unless they are huge, right?



#8 Scott in NC

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 10:39 AM

I thought that meteorites were at air temperature by the time they reach the ground.  Unless they are huge, right?

From what I've learned since starting this thread, I believe you're correct.



#9 Turf

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 07:37 PM

you might check you area for an "all sky network".  i know in Colorado, we have this guy:  http://www.cloudbait.com/index.php

 

if he gets enough reports of a fireball, he can predict the landing area.

 

everytime i've reported one, they end up being hundreds of miles from me.

 

oh, and from a turf guy :) x2 on the skunk


Edited by Turf, 22 October 2018 - 07:48 PM.

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#10 Astroman007

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 08:36 PM

It's almost impossible that you would have seen the glow from the meteorite and also the landing site. Generally a meteorite will continue in dark flight for dozens of miles, significantly after the cessation of the light show caused by contact with the atmosphere.

Seconded.


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