Meteor Explosion Recorded On Seismograph
NEWS RELEASE 8 JULY 1999
The sonic boom from the meteor that exploded over the North Island yesterday was recorded on a seismograph at Ruapehu, the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Limited (GNS) said today.
Interpreting the recording today, seismologist Terry Webb said the meteor was probably a fragment or remnant of a comet outward bound from the Sun and heading for the outer solar system.
It entered the earth's atmosphere at a relatively low trajectory at about about 20km/sec, or 72,000km/h before exploding into multiple fragments, Dr Webb said.
He estimated the meteor broke up at between 60km and 80km altitude. Dr Webb doubted if any particles hit the ground.
" A meteor such as this would probably have burned up completely in the atmosphere.''