The Nicaraguan capital city of Managua witnessed a blast on Saturday night, which was most likely caused by a meteorite plummeting on Earth. Residents reported hearing a mysterious boom that left a 16-foot deep crater near the city’s airport.
Government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo said a committee formed by the government to study the event determined it was a relatively small meteorite that appears to have come off an asteroid that was passing close to Earth. She said international experts had been called in to investigate further. No-one was hurt when it hit the wooded area near the international airport and an air force base.
The asteroid was first discovered on 31 August and, at its closest approach, was about one-tenth of the distance from the centre of Earth to the Moon, and was supposed to be roughly over New Zealand as per a Nasa statement. Analysts confirm that the meteor could have come off from the asteroid. “It could have come off that asteroid because it is normal for that to occur. We have to study it more because it could be ice or rock,” Newsweek quoted Humberto Garcia, a Nicaraguan volcanologist.
“All the evidence that we’ve confirmed on-site corresponds exactly with a meteorite and not with any other type of event,” Newsweek quoted Jose Millan of the Nicaraguan Institute of Earth Studies.
Regarding the meteorite strike Nasa released a statement, which reads, “Reports in the media over the weekend that a small meteorite impacted in Nicaragua have yet to be confirmed. A loud explosion was reportedly heard near Managua’s international airport Saturday night, and photos of a 39-foot (12-meter) crater have been circulated. As yet, no eyewitness accounts or imagery have come to light of a fireball flash or debris trail that is typically associated with a meteor of the size required to produce such a crater. Scientists say because the explosion in Nicaragua occurred a full 13 hours before the close passage of asteroid 2014 RC, these two events are unrelated.”