Monday, July 17, 2006

Meteor Explodes Over Oslo!

Meteor Exploding Over Oslo
Meteor bits found near Rygge

By Rolf L Larsen
Aftenposten
7-18-06

     A bus driver from Ås, south of Oslo, was sitting in the outhouse at his holiday cabin near Rygge when he heard an enormous blast. Right after that, some particles from a meteor that exploded over the Oslo area rained down just outside.

Martinsen's last few days of summer holiday at his cabin turned out to be much more eventful than he'd ever imagined.

He said he didn't think too much about the surprising blast at first, dismissing it as probably coming from an exercise at a nearby military air station at Rygge. But he said the blast and the rumbling it caused was terrible.

It was 10:20am on Friday. Finished with his business in the outhouse, he said he was just hooking the door when he heard a new noise, a whistling sort of sound, followed by a new bang on some aluminum plates lying near the outhouse.

Sure enough, it was particles from a meteor that exploded somewhere over the Oslo Fjord area on Friday morning. But Martinsen wasn't aware of the blast at the time. When he eventually mentioned his unusual experience in the outhouse to some family members, his brother-in-law recalled seeing a story about the blast in Aftenposten and put it all together.

So Martinsen called astronomer Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard at the University of Oslo's institute of theoretical astrophysics and Morten Bilet of the Norwegian Astronomical Society on Sunday. They quickly made the trip to Martinsen's cabin.

Once there they could confirm Martinsen's remarkable discovery of meteorite particles on his property. "This is Norway's 14th meteorite, but we've never heard about a meteorite landing so close to a person before," said Bilet.

Martinsen is just glad he didn't get hit on the head. Bilet and Røed Ødegaard said it was a stone meteorite, a so-called kondritt, that Martinsen found near the dented aluminum plates. It was magnetic and stems from the earth's own solar system.

Twelve of the 13 meteorites already found in Norway are exhibited in Oslo's Museum of Natural History. Martinsen and his family let the two astronomers take the meteorite stones with them to the museum.

"There can still be hundreds of pieces from this meteor lying around here," said Røed Ødegaard. "But it will be difficult find a story like this one."

More . . .

See Also: 'Rare Daytime Meteor' Thrills Witnesses!

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