8-kg falling meteorite in Iasi caused bang similar to explosion of 400kg of TNT, local top physicist claims

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The bang heard in Iasi, eastern Romania, on July 9 would have been caused by a meteorite, weighing at least 8 kilos and 16 centimeters in diameter, says Silviu Gurlui, professor at the Physics Faculty in Iasi.

The scientist explained the meteorite’s features on its Facebook page today, saying it has exploded at high altitude. Gurlui said he could determine that the explosion had been caused by a meteorite following readings made by an equipment the faculty has installed in the clock tower of the Palace of Culture in the city.

The meteorite had at least 8 kilograms and minimum 16cm diameter. The power of the explosion stood at minimum 800 megawatt (a little bit more than one the nuclear reactor in Cernavoda-706megawatt), but just for 2 seconds! The explosion is similar to 400 kilos of TNT explosive. It blew up at high altitude, while potential pieces have reached the Earth without causing major effects, for we haven’t recorded vibration on the ground after those 5 seconds of direct impact with the sound. The features of the sound (20-120 Hz) showed that the bang was at very high altitude, it cannot be observed to the human eye,” the professor said.

Gurlui compared the meteorite with the one fallen down in Russia in 2013.

By comparison, the meteorite fallen in Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia on February 15, 2013 weighed 12,000 tons, had a size of 20 metres and hit the ground by a 20kmph speed, while the energy of the explosion stood at 400,000 tons of TNT, equivalent to 30 Hiroshima bombs”, Silviu Gurlui said.

A loud crash was heard in Iasi and the nearby villages on July 9, but local authorities could not say what caused it. Professor Burlui explained later on it was a shock wave caused by a falling meteorite.

A similar incident took place in Iasi three years ago, on June 1, 2016.

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