Traces of ‘Sonic Boom’ Meteorites Found in the Ocean

Jul 5, 2018

By Charles Q. Choi

The first mission designed to hunt a meteorite that crashed into the ocean has now discovered what may be tiny fragments of the meteorite’s crust, researchers say.

On March 7, three National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather stations detected the fall of a meteorite about 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) off the coast of Washington state. “The fall was widely seen around local areas and widely heard around local areas — it came with some loud sonic booms,” Marc Fries, the cosmic dust curator for NASA, told Live Science.

Fries estimated this fall might yield about 4,400 lbs. (2,000 kilograms) of meteorites. He also calculated the largest meteorite might weigh about 9.7 lbs. (4.4 kg) and have a diameter of about 5 inches (12 centimeters).

“This is the largest meteorite fall I’ve seen in 20-plus years of radar data,” Fries said.

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