The chances of being hit by a passing meteorite are tremendously small, but that’s exactly what has happened to a German schoolboy. The pea-sized space-traveling object hit the boy’s hand leaving a scar.
The rock flew down from space at the speed of 48,000 kilometers per hour and struck 14-year-old Gerrit Blank on his way to school before crashing into the pavement, ending its billion-year space journey in a smoking 30 centimeter wide crater.
Gerrit is now among a handful of people to have been hit directly by a meteorite. The chances of this happening are very small, said to be one in 100 million. Most shooting stars get completely burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere. As a result the object that hit the German boy would originally have been a lot larger.
Experts are now examining the pea-sized meteorite to discover its origins. They have already confirmed its magnetic nature. Most meteorites date back to the formation of the solar system 4.55 billion years ago.
As of yet there have been no confirmed fatalities as a result of a meteorite strike, although there are many reported cases of animals being killed by an impact.
The most recent case similar to Gerrit’s was in 1954, when a four-kilogram meteorite smashed through the roof of a house in Alabama, injuring a woman asleep at the time.
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