Did a Meteorite Cause a Crater in Nicaragua?

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At approximately midnight local time on the night of September 6 (September 7, 6 UTC), a loud explosion was heard in an area near Managua, Nicaragua. A crater some 39 feet in diameter was found near 86.2 degrees west longitude, 12.2 degrees north latitude, in good agreement with the reports of explosive sounds. It has been suggested that a meteorite may have caused this crater; however, the lack of fireball reports from the surrounding populated area seems to suggest some other cause. The skies were partially clear, and an object capable of producing a crater this large would have also generated a very bright fireball (brighter than the Full Moon) that should have been seen over a wide area. Some have drawn analogies to the September 2007 Carancas meteorite fall in Peru; however, there were fireball reports associated with this event, even though it occurred in the daytime near noon.

While a meteoritic origin for this crater cannot be ruled out with absolute certainty, the information available at this time suggests that some other cause is responsible for its creation.

19 thoughts on “Did a Meteorite Cause a Crater in Nicaragua?

    1. Bianca Beluga

      Maybe it was like one in Sibiria in Russia in 1908.But then again that one didn`t made crater. But what else could have made such a crater then Meteorite. Or maybe it is the same crater like those who have recently discovered in Russia on Kamchatka. Some scientists say they were made from underground gas who explode.
      Please let us now about new data from that crater in Nicaragua! I would really appreciated! Thank you! :)

      Reply
    2. joe

      Is it possible I was able to see it from Boca Grande Fl? I go night fishing a lot and see “shooting stars” all the time but on Saturday night I saw by far the brightest one yet and I even mentioned it to my wife but it only lasted a split second. The next day when I saw the reports I asked my wife if she thought it was possible that it was the same thing.

      Reply
  1. Humberto Castilla

    Just so you know… It seems to be fake. There are no meteorite pics or videos, molten rock… Nothing.

    And, it just happens to have ‘hit’ the ground inside a military zone. Most people here think the dictatorship is covering up some kind of explosion.

    Reply
    1. Blob

      If an object hit it may have almost completely vaporised and/or buried itself in the bottom of the crater. One aspect is that no meteorites have been found from any air detonations – this may mean that it was metallic and is buried within the crater.

      As for it being a bomb – it would require about 4 gigajoules to create the crater – about a tonne of TNT

      Reply
  2. Ana Morris

    Can you please let me know information as is known about the crater of Sept. 8, 2014 in Managua, Nicaragua. Thank you in advance for your reply.
    Ana Morris

    Reply
  3. Rob Matson

    Whether rock, ice, or iron, a meteoroid or comet of the size necessary to leave an 80-foot diameter impact pit could not have gone unwitnessed so close to a city of over 1.4 million residents. This pit does NOT have a cosmic origin. The proximity relative to a military base coupled with Nicaragua’s checkered past offer far more likely, but mundane, explanations for the pit’s origin.

    Reply
  4. fernando

    I live just 1km from the impact zone, I heard the sound. my uncle live just 200mts from impact zone he felt and earth movement like an earthquake. the people who live there say that it was such a bomb and inmediately something like sand dropped on the roof. many people reports that some red thin sand and dust covered their cars in that moment. there are some pictures of that. it is probably that it was a meteorite, in managua people use to get bed at 10pm. the incident was at eleven, if it was a meteorite it is possible that nobody had time to get out a celphone or camero take pictures. moreover that was a cloudy nigth. never before in that field had happen something like an explosion, there is a bunch of houses aside that place (100mts around) there are no walls you can see the entire field from almost everywhere.

    the facts: that was a sound like a bomb that was heard 10km around, the earth moved at 11pm, there is a hole of 39feet wide and 16feet deep,

    the characteristics of the event indicates that it was a meteorite but it still deep on earth (if it exists), but whatever it is, it never can be military incident. there is nothing such secrets here, believe me, it was in in the capital, with many people around and too close.

    If nasa sent experts with instrument it would be helpful to clarify the situation, the government made public this claim for assistance.

    please don’t think this is secretive or misterous thing, its simpler than it appears.

    fernando

    Reply
  5. Wes Strange

    The “official” word was… meteorite. However, the only one that can debunk it and help people here in Nicaragua show what’s happening behind the scenes in this country is… NASA.

    Everyone speculates it was some sort of new artillery test. They were schedule to get new equipment for the military. They say its indeed a meteorite. Who’s right? IF it wasn’t a meteorite… Then we nationals can finally show the world what Chavez’s protege is trying to do here.

    Reply
  6. SteveD

    Perhaps it came in over the ocean and slowed down too much to continue to create a fireball before it reached landfall. An iron meteorite would still have enough velocity and mass to create such a crater though no longer traveling fast enough to heat up from air friction and visibly glow or burn.

    Reply
  7. John Barrett

    I am engaged daily in a complex writing project. As has become my habit, I awoke early Sunday morning at my home in extreme Northwestern Florida. I am in the habit of then going outside and sitting for a short time in front of my house to contemplate my project and what I need to do in the coming day. I often stare at the sky while thinking things over.

    As best I can recall, it was sometime around 3 to 3:45 am, CST local time, give or take perhaps twenty minutes. Skies were clear (unusually compared to earlier days here for about the preceding week) and dark. I do not recall seeing the moon at all. Certainly, it was not in my field of vision. I do not recall if the moon was new or had set by then, but I happened to see a very bright, very long streak medium-high in the southwestern sky. It lasted about a full second, maybe slightly more. I had no doubt it was a meteor or meteorite. At the very time I saw it, I thought I had never before seen one last that long. Naturally, I was not armed with a camera and have no photo. But it was so unusual that I mentioned it to my wife and mother-in-law later that same day.

    Now, I have no idea if this could have been the Nicaraguan meteor. I also have no idea if it would be possible to see a meteor headed for Central America from my vantage point in Northwest Florida. At the time, I thought perhaps the meteor was likely to land in the Gulf of Mexico, which is close to my residence, or Mexico.

    I knew nothing about the ‘hole’ discovered near the airport in Nicaragua until a day or so later when I saw a news item about it. Again, I mentioned that news to my wife and we both wondered if it was in any way related to my sighting.

    Today, I read on BBC News that ‘no one has reported seeing a bright streak in the sky.’ I suppose I should do so, but I have no idea where to send such a report — so I’m posting it here. If there is anything useful in this modest statement of mine someone who runs this web site, I presume, can retrieve my email address and send this on to the appropriate people. Alternatively, please post a reply here with an address where this message can be sent and I will reply with additional details about my location and an approximation of the position in the sky (alas, only in layman’s terms) where I saw the long, bright streak.

    Reply
    1. Scute

      John from Florida

      Please could you report your meteor sighting to the American Meteor Association (AMS) at this URL:

      http://www.amsmeteors.org/members/fireball/report-a-fireball

      They treat all sightings as scientifically significant and don’t mind ‘laymen’ reports or single witness reports. The more information you can give, including detailed account, start and finish directions and heights etc the better but incomplete reports still go through if there’s all the basic info there.

      I would give the same advice to anyone else reading this if you have seen a fireball and don’t know where to report it.

      Reply
  8. SteveD

    Everyone is assuming that every rock that comes to Earth creates a streak or fireball.

    What if a chunk was in solar orbit not much different from Earth’s? is it not possible they could encounter each other and the rock captured by Earth’s gravity without there being a difference in velocity of tens of thousands of MPH?

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    1. David

      To leave the the Earth’s gravitational sphere of influence, a body needs to achieve “escape velocity”. That’s 11.2 km/sec. If the crater was caused by a meteorite, the meteoriod would have originated from outside Earth’s gravitational sphere of influence.

      So, even if the body encountered the Earth with a very small relative velocity, by the time it had “fallen” to Earth it would have transferred its original potential energy to kinetic energy and would arrive at the Earth’s upper atmosphere travelling at at least 11.2 km/sec.

      Reply
  9. Rashid Mostafa

    Fernando’s description sound convincing. I’d wait until they do a bit of excavation before we come to any firm conclusions.

    Reply
  10. CATZ

    I ve seen a flash in the sky and a big big falling star on sunday 7 september at 7:00am. I live in the south ouest of France. It came from de Est in direction of West. For me it was just in impressive falling star.
    Is it possible that it was the meteor who crashed in Nicaragua ?
    Sorry for my French’s English !

    Reply

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