German lad hit by 30,000 mph meteorite

Size of a pea, luckily


A 14-year-old German lad survived a close encounter with a meteorite when a pea-sized piece of rock which had entered Earth's atmosphere at 30,000 mph left him with nothing more than a "nasty" three-inch gash on his hand.

According to the Telegraph, Gerrit Blank was on his way to school in Essen when a bright light in the sky heralded the arrival of the red-hot space rock. It bounced off his hand before embedding itself in a foot-wide crater in the ground.

Blank recounted: "At first I just saw a large ball of light, and then I suddenly felt a pain in my hand. Then a split second after that there was an enormous bang like a crash of thunder."

"The noise that came after the flash of light was so loud that my ears were ringing for hours afterwards. When it hit me it knocked me flying and then was still going fast enough to bury itself into the road."

Subsequent tests on the teen-bashing space pea proved its provenance. Ansgar Kortem, director of Germany's Walter Hohmann Observatory, confirmed: "It's a real meteorite, therefore it is very valuable to collectors and scientists.

"Most don't actually make it to ground level because they evaporate in the atmosphere. Of those that do get through, about six out of every seven of them land in water."

Blank joins an exclusive club of meteorite-strike survivors, with a total membership of two. In 1954, Ann Elizabeth Hodges was having a kip on her sofa in Sylacauga, Alabama when a 3.86 kg meteorite came through the roof, bounced off a radio and caused her some serious bruising on one side of her body. ®

Similar topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Germany to host Europe's first exascale supercomputer
    Jupiter added to HPC solar system

    Germany will be the host of the first publicly known European exascale supercomputer, along with four other EU sites getting smaller but still powerful systems, the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) announced this week.

    Germany will be the home of Jupiter, the "Joint Undertaking Pioneer for Innovative and Transformative Exascale Research." It should be switched on next year in a specially designed building on the campus of the Forschungszentrum Jülich research centre and operated by the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC), alongside the existing Juwels and Jureca supercomputers.

    The four mid-range systems are: Daedalus, hosted by the National Infrastructures for Research and Technology in Greece; Levente at the Governmental Agency for IT Development in Hungary; Caspir at the National University of Ireland Galway in Ireland; and EHPCPL at the Academic Computer Centre CYFRONET in Poland.

    Continue reading
  • Germany makes new move to attract chip manufacturers
    $14.7b in state aid on offer for companies to set up shop in the country

    Germany's government is looking to attract chipmakers to the country by offering €14 billion ($14.7 billion) in financial support, apparently spurred on by global semiconductor supply chain problems.

    The move follows the European Chips Act from the European Commission and Intel's decision earlier this year to build a new fabrication plant in Germany.

    The latest announcement was made by Germany's vice chancellor and federal minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck at a business event in Hanover, according to Reuters, who said that his government wants to attract chip makers with €14 billion ($14.7 billion) in state aid.

    Continue reading
  • Germany advises citizens to uninstall Kaspersky antivirus
    Russian biz founder calls it 'an insult'

    Germany's BSI federal cybersecurity agency has warned the country's citizens not to install Russian-owned Kaspersky antivirus, saying it has "doubts about the reliability of the manufacturer."

    Russia-based Kaspersky has long been a target of suspicious rumors in the West over its ownership and allegiance to Russia's rulers.

    In an advisory published today, the agency said: "The BSI recommends replacing applications from Kaspersky's virus protection software portfolio with alternative products."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022