[meteorite-list] UK Woman Hit By A Meteorite?
Ron Baalke baalke at zagami.jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Aug 17 13:29:25 EDT 2004
http://new.edp24.co.uk/content/news/story.aspx?brand=EDPOnline&category=News&tBrand=edponline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED16%20Aug%202004%2020%3A14%3A49%3A410 Was Lowestoft woman hit by a meteorite? MARIA FULCHER EDP24 News (United Kingdom) 17 August 2004 It may have been a Martian attack or simply bad luck, but whatever it was it left a Lowestoft woman with a nasty gash on the arm. Pauline Aguss, 76, was hanging out her washing last week when she received the mysterious cut. At first the only explanation was her peg bag but, husband Jack was unconvinced and later found a small brown metallic rock, no bigger than a walnut, in the garden - which had the markings of a meteorite. On average one meteorite falls every week to earth, and the last significant find in the UK was in 1991 in Peterborough. According to experts, no one has ever been hit by one. But given the metallic colour and visible crystals on the rock, Neil Bone, director of the meteor division at the British Astronomical Association, said he could not rule out the possibility that the Lowestoft find was genuine. He said: "It seems East Anglia is the place for meteorites. However, these things are pretty rare and the chances of being struck by one are vanishingly small." He added that the last record of a meteorite causing injury was when a dog was thought to have been killed in Egypt sometime in the last century. The unidentified object fell from the sky last Wednesday afternoon and would have been hurtling at a speed of about 20km a second, having travelled millions of miles from the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. Mr and Mrs Aguss, who live in Normanston Drive, have spent the past few days looking on the internet, with help from the rest of the family, in a bid to confirm the origin of the rock. Mrs Aguss said: "If you get a microscope out you can see lots of crystals on it, but I would like an expert's opinion to get to the bottom of this. I just wondered if it was a little Martian wanting to attack me." Local astronomical groups are also keen to identify the latest offering from the skies, and Mark Lawrick-Thompson, chairman of the Norfolk Astronomical Society, thought there was a good chance it could be the real thing. "It is quite rare to find them and the presence of crystals doesn't mean it is definitely a meteorite, but there is good chance that it is one," he said. However, the possibility that it was connected to the annual perseid meteorite shower, which was at its peak last Thursday, was discounted by Mr Bone who explained that the material from the shower was too small and would burn up in the atmosphere. ---------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------- http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/12620274?source=Evening%20Standard Woman hanging out washing 'hit by meteorite' By Mark Prigg Evening Standard (United Kingdom) 17 August 2004 A woman believes she was hit by a meteorite fragment while hanging out her washing. Pauline Aguss was in the garden when she felt a searing pain and noticed a cut on her arm. She said: "It looked black and peculiar. I went indoors and put a plaster on." It was not until the next day that her husband Jack found a walnut-sized rock on the path. Mrs Aguss, 76, of Lowestoft, Suffolk, said: "It was an odd shape and you could see a few small crystals in it. "That is when we realised it might have been a meteorite and now, after talking to people who know about these things, we are 99 per cent certain." The odds against being hit by a meteorite are billions to one. On average one a week falls to earth but most are burned up as they enter the atmosphere at 40,000 mph. Norfolk Astronomical Society chairman Mark Lawrick-Thompson said: "There is a good chance this is a meteorite. It is very rare indeed to find one."
Boffins examine 'meteorite' that hit woman. 19/08/2004. ABC News Online
[This is the print version of story http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200408/s1179919.htm]
Last Update: Thursday, August 19, 2004. 7:21am (AEST)
Boffins examine 'meteorite' that hit woman
Astronomers in Britain are questioning whether a rock which slightly injured a woman in her 70s is a meteorite.
If the origin of the rock is confirmed, the woman would be the first known human victim of such a strike.
Pauline Aguss, 76, was hanging out the washing in the back garden of her home in Suffolk, north-east of London, when she experienced a sharp pain in her forearm.
She had suffered a gash measuring 2.5 centimetres and thought her peg bag might have been responsible.
But her husband found a walnut-sized metallic rock where Mrs Aguss had been standing.
Astronomers hope scientific tests will reveal the rock's origin.
Most meteorites heading towards earth burn up in the atmosphere but some do make it through.
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