Meteorite may have caused crater

A meteorite which was only destined to pass "close" to the Earth may have left its impact on the planet’s surface.

Meteorite may have caused crater

British scientists say a crater left in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua may be linked to the 2014 RC “pitbull” asteroid — and that there could be plenty of other flying rocks ready to crash to Earth.

Dr Dan Brown, an astronomy expert at Nottingham Trent University, said: “The possible meteorite impact in Nicaragua, linked with the asteroid 2014 RC which flew by Earth raises some interesting questions.

“Although the impact occurred roughly 12 hours before the asteroid passed Earth, that part of the planet was facing in the right direction for it to have been a fragment associated with it. “If it was an unrelated object, however, then it further demonstrates how we don’t really monitor all the potentially dangerous rocks out there.”

Locals said they heard a mysterious loud noise on Saturday night, later discovering a crater in an area of woodland near the airport.

The crater was said to have been 12 metres (39ft) in circumference and 5 metres (16ft) deep.

Dr Brown said: “It certainly makes absolute sense that people surrounding the impact site heard a loud boom — but a flash of light should also have been observed before that.”

More in this section

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox