News Article

News Article

Does This Footage Show a Skydiver's Close Call with a Meteorite?

When Norwegian skydiver Anders Helstrup dove from a small plane in 2012, he had a strange feeling that something wasn't quite right. Since he'd recorded the entire jump with a helmet camera, he checked the footage and was shocked to see what looked like a large, dark rock hurtling near him as he fell.
 
“When we stopped the film, we could clearly see something that looked like a stone,” Helstrup told Norwegian news site NRK. “At first it crossed my mind that it had been packed into a parachute, but it’s simply too big for that.”
 
 
After an intensive search of the landing site failed to turn up the object, Helstrup took the video to the Natural History Museum in Oslo for analysis, and several experts are now convinced the rock was a meteorite. 
 
Meteorite1
Photo: Roger Myren/NRK
 
Geologists theorize that the object is a fragment of a larger meteor that may have exploded far above Helstrup as he jumped. Pieces still intact by this stage are “burned out,” no longer illuminated by friction with the upper atmosphere, and begin a straight drop to the Earth's surface known as “dark flight.”
 
Meteorite2
Photo: Anders Helstrup/Hans Erik Foss Amundsen
 
Helstrup has become a bit of a celebrity among meteor hunters, many of whom have tried tracking the object's trajectory from the video in the hope of locating the meteorite, which could be quite valuable if verified. A website was launched to explain the incident in detail for anyone interested in joining the search.
 

 

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