Society

Meteor Crashes Outside Georgia Man's Home

| by Sarah Zimmerman
Meteor showerMeteor shower

A Georgia homeowner was shocked to discover a meteor crashed outside his house, leaving a 15-inch deep crater in its wake.

When Jay Sullivent heard a loud bang outside his home in Appling on July 21, he assumed it was a car crash, the Daily Mail reports. He went outside to investigate, but couldn't find any signs of wreckage.

After a few minutes of searching, he stumbled upon a smoking crater on his front lawn.

"It's a damn meteorite," said in a video taken at the time.

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Sullivent took out a pocket knife and flicked the still-glowing meteorite from its crater.

"When I got over to the crater it was around 15 inches deep and about the same across," he said. "The rock in the middle was glowing red."

Meteorite strikes take place about five to 10 times a year, according to The Atlantic. Meteors -- pieces of asteroids or comets that make their way into the Earth's atmosphere -- don't usually make it to the ground. Instead, most burn up before they hit the ground. 

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Meteorites, which are meteors that actually strike the Earth, usually only leave small impacts like the one outside Sullivent's home. Most strikes take place outside inhibited areas and rarely cause any damage.

Larger impacts are more rare, occurring roughly once every five years. In 2013, a large meteor exploded in the sky above Russia. Its shockwave had devastating effects, blowing out windows, damaging communication infrastructure and injuring hundreds of people. 

In 2016, an Indian man was killed after being struck by a meteorite, becoming the first person in recorded history to die in such a way. 

V. Kamaraj, a bus driver, was walking near the cafeteria at Bharathidasan Engineering College when the meteorite struck, reports The Wall Street Journal. 

"There was a noise like a big explosion," said G. Baskar, the college's principal. "It was an abnormal sound that could be heard till at least [2 miles] away."

The meteorite left a crater approximately 4 feet deep and the force of the impact shattered all of the windows in the surrounding area. Three others were injured in the blast.

Sujan Sengupta, an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, said that these occurrences were extremely rare and that people don't need to worry about meteorite strikes.

"If a bigger asteroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it will disintegrate and travel in different directions and because most of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, it is most likely to fall into the ocean," he said.

Sources: Daily Mail, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal / Featured Image: John Fowler/Flickr / Embedded Images: Jon Taylor/Flickr, Channone Arif/Flickr

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