Feeds

Crusty fireball space mango wrecks US doctor's office

'Fresh, pretty' meteorite blasts startled medics

High performance access to file storage

A "mango-sized" meteorite crashed into a doctor's office in Virginia this week at more than 200 mph, according to reports. The space rock smashed through the roof, an internal wall and an upper floor before shattering into several pieces on a concrete slab.

"Literally an explosion went off," Dr Marc Gullani told local TV station WUSA9.

"It came from the roof, through the fire wall, through the ceiling and hit the ground right here," said his colleague Dr Frank Ciampi.

Nobody was hurt in the meteor strike, and the pieces of interplanetary debris were subsequently identified as being extraterrestrial by a geologist, fortuitously married to the doctors' receptionist.

The bits were then sent for analysis by the boffins from the meteorite collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, who described their arrival as "a special moment".

Dr Linda Welzenbach of the Smithsonian - evidently a woman with an encyclopaedic knowledge of asteroid strikes in America - immediately said "as I recall, this will be the fourth fall in Virginia." She later added that as a connoisseur she considered the alien boulder "pretty" and "very fresh", remarking further that "it's a shame that it broke on impact."

Local residents apparently reported a "brilliant fireball" streaking through the sky, prior to the devastating doctor's-surgery strike. Welzenbach says the blazing passage of the rock through the Earth's atmosphere had melted its exterior, giving it a "fusion crust".

The meteorite is apparently a common-or-garden chondrite, formed out of floating space gumble in the early days of the solar system. Most meteorites found on Earth are chondrites; no sensation is expected in spacegoing-rock aficionado circles.

Reports by WUSA9 and Space.com are here and here respectively. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
Get your MOON GEAR: Auction to feature Space Race memorabilia
Keepsakes from early NASA, Soviet programs up for bids
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.