Avast! Space debris ahead!


Let me just say, I think it's a bit premature of the Peruvian authorities to be declaring that this mystery impact is not a fallen satellite. The symptoms being reported by the locals sound to me very much like what you'd expect from a combination of shock and inhaling propellant fumes (especially hydrazine, which is often used for satellite maneuvering).

P.S. Yarrr!


I wouldn't even be sure it was an impact. I think it could be a mud volcano or some other hydrothermal event that is releasing toxic hydrocarbon gases. I think the fireball was an unrelated event (they are quite common) and while people were out looking for the fireball impact they found this recent terrestrial crater. I can't imagine a natural meteorite would release lots of gases. A satellite (with hydrazine)could be a possibility. If that is the case, the water table is really high in that area. Should be easy to find some metal bits in the bottom of the hole. Interesting case, whatever it was.

I'm inclined to agree. The feature described does indeed resemble a hydrothermal rather than impact event. Moreover, any manmade space debris large enough to create a crater of the size that's being reported would have to correspond to a known (failed) launch or predicted orbital decay.

On the other hand, we now have a Peruvian geologist claiming to have found chunks of chondritic meteorite in the crater. So, weird.

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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on September 19, 2007 1:13 AM.

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