Video: Skydiver almost gets hit by meteorite

According to geologist Hans Amundsen—of the Natural History Museum in Oslo—you're looking at the first ever film of a meteorite falling through its dark flight stage. The lucky guy who filmed it was skydiver Anders Helstrup, who survived the encounter unscathed.

The chances of this happening, according to the scientist, are "much less likely than winning the lottery three times in a row." Here's the original video. You can see the meteorite zooming down at the 0:22 mark.

While he almost got hit by it, Anders told the Norwegian national television NKR that he didn't see it when it happened.

I got the feeling that there was something, but I didn't register what was happening.

It was only after he looked at the footage of his helmet cam when he realized this could be a rock from outer space. He was amazed and eventually took the film to the University of Oslo. The scientists there confirmed that, indeed, it was a meteorite plunging into Earth at terminal velocity, a stage called dark flight.

During this phase, the meteorite "no longer travels at an angle, but falls straight down." According to Amundsen, who initially was very skeptical about it's nature, it can't be anything else but a fragment of a meteorite: "The shape is typical of meteorites—a fresh fracture surface on one side, while the other side is rounded."

Video: Skydiver almost gets hit by meteorite

He believes that "the meteorite had been part of a larger stone that had exploded perhaps 20 kilometres above Helstrup." [Thanks NASA Goddard Images!]


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